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THREE HOURS 



JOHN M. KELLY LIBDADY 









Donated by 

The Redemptorists of 
the Toronto Province 

from the Library Collection of 
Holy Redeemer College, Windsor 



University of 
St. Michael s College, Toronto 



"CONSUMMATUM EST. 



(Michael Angela.) 



HOLY KEDEEMtt LIMARY, 

V 

SDevotioft 



THREE HOURS AGONY 

ON GOOD FRIDAY 



Uranslateb from tbe Spanish Original 

OF 

FATHER ALONSO MESIA SJ. 



WITH AN HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION 



FATHER HERBERT THURSTON SJ. 




MDCCCXCIX. 




" And I will pour out upon the house of David 
and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit 
of grace and of prayers, and they shall look upon 
Me whom they have pierced : and they shall mourn 
for Him as one mourneth for an only son, and they 
shall grieve over Him as the manner is to grieve for 
the death of the first-born." ZACHARIAS xii. 10. 











"And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so 
must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever 
believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life 
everlasting." ST. JOHN iii. 14, 15. 

(From a fresco of Michael Angela on the roof of the Sistine Chapel.} 



PREFATORY NOTE. 



IT is our Saviour Himself who has drawn the 
parallel between the lifting up of the serpent 
in the desert and the lifting up of the Son of 
Man upon the Cross. The inference seems 
warranted, that if through the bitter death 
and agony of Christ our Lord, " a worm and 
no man," we are to be saved from perishing, 
we must not ourselves remain entirely passive, 
but must try to expel the venom of evil 
passions from our veins by long and earnest 
contemplation of the Crucified. " They shall 
look upon Me whom they have pierced" Can 
we find any better way of contributing to the 
fulfilment of this prophecy than that afforded 
by the devotion, now happily become so 
popular, of the " Three Hours " Agony on 
Good Friday ? 
B 



The object which this little book is in 
tended to serve is twofold. It purports in the 
first place, by means of an historical intro 
duction, and by an accurate translation of the 
author s original text, to set before English 
readers the primitive conception of the devo 
tion of the Three Hours, from which, wisely 
or unwisely, the modern adaptations have 
notably diverged. Secondly, it aims at pro 
viding a manual for the use of communities, 
or individuals, who are unable to attend any 
of the churches where these meditations are 
publicly preached. There must be many who 
would gladly associate themselves in private 
with that great outpouring of compassion 
and supplication which is being offered 
to God all over the world by so many 
devout congregations and religious com 
munities at the same hour. This is 
rendered quite possible for all by the use of 
Father Mesia s little volume of meditations 
and instructions. Further, the practice of 
this pious exercise of the Three Hours need 
not by any means be confined to Good 



"5 - 

Friday alone. It is probable indeed, as will 
be seen from the Historical Introduction 
which follows, that the devotion had its origin 
in a devout commemoration of the Passion 
of our Lord originally practised by a confra 
ternity which met for the purpose on every 
Friday of the year. That confraternity was 
honoured with the appropriate name of the 
Escuela de Cristo, the School of Christ ; and 
surely there is no school where the lessons of 
our Divine Master may so readily be learned 
as in the meditation of His dying utterances 
upon the Cross. It has been well said by 
Cardinal Bellarmine, that the Seven Words 
spoken by our Saviour in the three hours of 
His agony are a compendium of all that He 
did and suffered during the thirty-three years 
that He lived upon earth. 

In referring to some old volumes of the 
Guardian, to trace the spread of the " Three 
Hours " service among the Anglican churches 
of this country, the following remarks were 
met with, in connection with the first 
introduction of the "Three Hours," nearly 



- 4 

thirty years ago, at St. Paul s, Knightsbridge. 
They seem worthy of quotation here, as an 
appreciation from an Anglican point of view 
of a truth upon which nearly all Christians 
must be agreed. Speaking of the congrega 
tion who were present at the service, the 
writer says : 

Hard-headed men of business, Members of 
Parliament, and many of both sexes, who are 
better known in the world of fashion than in the 
assemblies of the sanctuary were there, some of 
them impelled no doubt by nothing better than 
curiosity, but the feeling of curiosity was plainly 
and speedily dispelled by the awe and fervour of 
an unwonted solemnity, making itself visible here 
and there in reddened eyes and tear-stained cheeks. 
The service of the Three Hours is becoming 
evidently and rapidly popular. Ought it to be 
encouraged ? It has its dangers unquestionably 
the danger, amongst others, resulting from the 
tendency of all excited feelings to evaporate in 
mere emotion, leaving the heart colder and more 
callous than it was. But then, on the other hand, 
the feelings must be roused if the appeals of 
religion are to do any good. Feelings are the raw 
material of character, and the system of the 



Church offers a thousand opportunities for turning 
them to account and preventing them from running 
to seed. 

By the kind permission of the author of 
the Life of Mother Henrietta Kerr, a set of 
prayers to the Five Wounds, translated by 
Mother Kerr from the Italian, have been 
printed at the end of this little book. Also a 
rough bibliography of writers upon the Seven 
Words, founded mainly on a list given in 
Cancellieri s Settimana Santa, has been added 
in an Appendix. The prayer found in the 
works of Venerable Bede, and belonging 
seemingly to the eighth century, which is 
prefixed to this volume, has been inserted as 
the earliest known attempt to number and 
group together the dying utterances of our 
Lord upon the Cross. It will be noticed that 
the order of enumeration differs slightly 
from that now commonly adopted. 

HERBERT THURSTON, S.J. 
Feast of St. Gregory the Great, 1899. 



HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION. 



THERE is a tiny little booklet in English, 
printed in London as far back as I8O6, 1 in 
which is set forth, to use the words of the 
title-page, " the Devotion of the Three Hours 
of the Agony of Jesus Christ our Redeemer, 
as practised every year on Good Friday in 
the Church del Giesu (sic) at Rome, from the 
1 8th to the 2 ist hour, viz., from 12 to 3 
o clock, with a Plenary Indulgence to all who 
assist thereat in the above mentioned Church, 
granted by his Holiness Pius VI., Anno 1789. 
Originally composed at Lima in Peru, in the 
Spanish Language. By the Rev. F. Alphonsa 

1 This little volume (96 pp. 32mo) was "printed by 
Keating, Brown, and Co., No. 37 Duke Street, Grosvenor 
Square," in 1806. This edition is unknown to De Backer 
and Sommervogel, who only mention the two later editions, 
one of Dublin in 1844, and the other of London (Dolman) 
1854. 



(sic) Messia, SJ." Seeing how popular the 
devotion of the Three Hours has become in 
these later times, not only among Father 
Mesia s own co-religionists in every part of the 
world, but amongst Anglicans also, it has 
seemed worth while to reprint this little 
volume with an historical introduction, and 
with such few corrections as a collation with 
the original Spanish seemed to necessitate. 1 
The plan prescribed in it differs in so many 
ways from the arrangement now usually 
followed, that no other excuse can be needed 
for inviting attention to the earlier phases of 
the history of this favourite Good Friday 
service. 

Father Alonso Mesia, who first introduced 
this pious custom, was born at Pacaraos in 
Peru, on January ist, 1665, his father being at 
that time corregidor, the chief civil magistrate, 
of the district. It is needless to dwell upon 
the details of his life. At an early age he 
became a Jesuit, and spent many years in the 
College of San Pablo, Lima, where he filled 

1 The English version referred to was made from the Italian, 



9 

various posts of authority. He is described 
as a man of truly apostolic spirit 1 "His 
duties in the confessional/ we are told, " his 
daily sermon in the market-place, his frequent 
visits to the prisons and hospitals, his con 
ferences and literary undertakings, absorbed 
the whole of his time, without ever leaving 
him a moment to rest. In spite of the 
many ties and anxieties which fell to him as 
Rector of the house in which he resided, 
he was engaged unceasingly in works of 
charity." 2 

It was not strange that he endeared himself 
greatly to the hearts of the people, so much 
so that when the General of the Society in 
1705 appointed him Provincial of the mission 



1 Before he was called by obedience to labour in the 
capital, we are told that he spent some time in studying the 
native languages of Peru, and in preaching to the Indians. 

2 General M. de Mendiburu, Diccionario Historico- 
Biografico del Peru, vol. v. p. 310. Father Mesia s Life 
was written by a fellow-Jesuit, Father Juan Jose de Salazar, 
and was printed the year after his death, The book seems 
to be very rare, and I have unfortunately been unable to 
procure sight of a copy. It was unknown to Carayon, and 
seems to be incorrectly described in the folio edition of 
De Backer. 



10 

of Quito, 1 an uproar took place at the idea of 
his leaving the city, and it was found impossible 
to carry the nomination into effect. Six years 
later, however, he was appointed Provincial of 
Peru, and, as this did not take him away 
permanently from Lima, the citizens seem to 
have celebrated the occasion with public 
rejoicings. Father Alonso was also appointed, 
at various times, calificador of the Inquisition, 
Doctor of the University of St. Mark, &c., 
with many other distinctions. 

As an illustration of the authority which 
he enjoyed, we may mention that the then 
Viceroy of Peru, the Marquis of Castellfuerte, 
who is described as a man of stern and in 
flexible character, took Father Mesia for his 
confessor, and "paid extraordinary respect 
to his decisions." The following letter is 
cited by General Mendiburu in proof of this 
statement. It was written to Father Mesia 
by the Viceroy, from Callao, in 1725, at a 

1 There were seemingly two Provinces of the Society of 
Jesus in these regions, one called the Province of Peru, 
which had its head-quarters at Lima ; the other known from 
its principal residence as the Province of Quito, 



time when the latter was overwhelmed with 
the pressure of business. 

Most Reverend Father, I forward the enclosed 
case (consultd) to obtain your Reverence s opinion 
upon it. The matter is so important that I desire 
to have a safe conscience, and to settle everything 
in accordance with justice, and I was resolved to 
take no step of any sort which was not guided by 
so Christian a rule as is the prudent, learned, and 
holy decision of your Reverence. I remain, with 
deep veneration and obedience, &c., at the feet of 

your Reverence, 

CASTELLFUERTE. 

Father Mesia died in 1732, at the age of 
seventy-seven. He is described by the editor 
of the most authoritative modern work on 
Peruvian history as a man conspicuous for 
his humility, his spirit of penance, his charity, 
and his uprightness. " He rendered many 
services to religion, and helped to elevate the 
moral tone of his countrymen, especially 
showing great devotedness in assisting the 
families of those who were ruined by the 
earthquake of I687/ 1 

1 Mendiburu, I.e. p. 313. 



12 

It is in connection with this last-named 
event that the Devotion of the Three Hours 
seems to have had its origin. It has been 
asserted, and the probabilities appear to con 
firm the statement, that the terrible catastrophe 
of 1687, which was only eclipsed by the still 
more disastrous visitation which in 1746 laid 
the city of Lima in ruins, first suggested to 
the holy Jesuit the idea of propitiating the 
offended majesty of God, by some conspicuous 
and public act of atonement. The earthquake 
of 1687 actually took place on the 2oth of 
October, but six months before, on the night 
of the ist of April, which that year fell in 
Easter week, a premonitory warning had been 
given by a shock so severe, that it awoke all 
the sleeping inhabitants of Lima, and brought 
them out of their beds into the streets. 1 If I 
am not misinterpreting the description given 

1 See the account printed in the Collecion de las Relaciones 
de los mas notabihs Terremotos, &c., edited by Colonel of 
Cavalry M. de Odriozola, pp. 25 and 199. It seems charac 
teristic of the South American republics, that all the literary 
men who are not ecclesiastics, are invariably either colonels 
or generals. Colonel de Odriozola, if I mistake not, is 
principal librarian of the National Library. 



13 

in the printed "Relations," our Father Alonso 
was undoubtedly one of the preachers who 
bade the people take warning, and threatened 
them with further chastisements if they neg 
lected the admonition. After this, according 
to the same account, there followed a still 
more startling portent An image of our 
Lady in a private chapel was observed, on 
the feast of the Visitation (July 2nd), to shed 
tears and to be bathed in moisture, in a way 
of which no natural explanation could be 
given. 

I should be sorry to commit myself to 
any expression of opinion regarding the 
authenticity of this marvel, but there can be 
no doubt that the believers in it were 
thoroughly sincere, and that the phenomenon 
was repeatedly observed by crowds of people 
between the beginning of July and the time 
of the earthquake, and even afterwards. A 
good deal of popular excitement seems to 
have resulted, and after the awful catastrophe 
of October 2oth, the terrified inhabitants, 
fearing to trust themselves inside the churches, 



14 

half of which were in ruins, 1 erected some 
temporary altars in the great open square of 
the city. There the statue was solemnly 
enshrined, and became the object of much 
popular devotion. To recall the memory of 
this terrible chastisement, an annual celebra 
tion was instituted on the anniversary of its 
occurrence, which was preceded by an eight 
days mission. The closing ceremony took 
place on the 2oth of October of each year, in 
the Jesuit church of San Pablo, to which 
Father Mesia was attached, and it was 
marked both by a General Communion and 
by a solemn procession, in which the Viceroy, 
the Audiencia, and the Cathedral Chapter 
took part. Much evidence might be produced 
of the fervour with which this custom was 



1 Veranse deshazer Torres noveles 
Desde la alta Linterna al fundamento 
Y a las basas unir los Capiteles 
Las Columnas en impetu violento : 
Las que sustentan arcos y linteles 
Maquinas, al furioso movimento 
La Mole muderan pues el desmonte, 
Si Edificio caera, se alzara Monte. 

(Barnuero, Lima Fundada, canto vi. stanza Ixxx.) 



kept up for long years afterwards, 1 but we may 
content ourselves here with quoting an acci 
dental reference to it contained in a diary 
written after the still more terrible earthquake 
of I746. 2 Under date October 20, 1747, the 
writer states : 

On this day there took place in the evening the 
supplication before the Holy Crucifix of Contrition 
(la rogativa al Sancto Cristo de la Contrition], and 
the concluding service of the week s mission insti 
tuted by Father Francis Xavier, a former Provincial 
of the Society of Jesus. This is usually conducted 
by the Jesuit Fathers in the church of their College 
of San Pablo, and during it they preach discourses 
upon suitable subjects to crowded congregations, 

1 There is mention of it, for instance, in a little four-page 
leaflet entitled, Memorias y Noticias de los Sucesos sobresali- 
entes en esta ciitdad de Lima, 1723; and in the Life of 
Father Francis del Castillo, S.J., by Buendia, p. 643. Also 
in the poem of Peralta Barnuero, entitled, Lima Fundada, 
bk. vi. st. 90. 

Continue un Terremoto en muchos dias 
Conserverara en los pechos los horrores : 
Memoria de tan duras agonias 
De annuos ruegos seran sacros fervores 
Asi havran dado en Oblaciones pias 
Culto a eternos Divinos Protectores ; 
En que el recuerdo hard con accion clara 
Lo triste en el dolor, gozo en el Ara. 
8 Printed by Odriozola, Terrcmotos, p. 126. 



- 16- 

with great fruit to souls. And on the same day in 
the morning, in memory of the terrible destruction 
caused to life and property by the earthquake of 
Oct. 2oth, 1687, and in commemoration also of 
the sweat and tears of the miraculous image of the 
Candelaria, 1 . . . there was held in the presence of 
the Viceroy, &c., the solemn celebration of the 
festival vowed and endowed by the city under the 
title of Our Lady of the Warning. On this festival 
there have been accustomed to communicate in 
the church of San Pablo as many as ten, twelve, 
and even fourteen thousand persons, but in this 
year, 1747, both on account of the multitude of 
devout persons who have died, as also on account 
of the large numbers who have left the city, the 
Hosts consumed in distributing Holy Communion 
hardly amounted to four thousand. 

Now although in the impossibility of con 
sulting the Life of Father Mesia, it would be 
dangerous to speak too positively, there is 
strong reason to believe that in the Rogativa 
before "the Holy Crucifix of Contrition," 
alluded to in the foregoing extract, we 

1 In this miraculous statue the Child in our Lady s arms 
grasped a candle. The statue was hence known as La 
Candelaria. 



17 

should trace the first germ of the Devo 
tion of the Three Hours, afterwards prac 
tised on Good Friday alone. It seems 
clear from other sources that certain exercises 
of piety were performed on Fridays by a 
confraternity directed by Father Mesia, under 
the name of the " School of Christ," in a 
chapel of the church of San Pablo, in which 
were venerated both the above-mentioned 
statue of the Candelaria, and the Crucifix 
known as the Cristo de la Contrition. 1 The 
devotion excited by, and the fruit to souls 
which resulted from, these exercises were 
evidently very remarkable, and we can well 
believe that some similar practice of piety, 
extending over the space of three hours, may 
have been devised by Father Mesia to mark 
the greatest Friday of the year, the day which 
commemorates the Passion and Death of our 
Saviour. The need of some special form of 

1 These facts are attested by the Life of Father Castillo, 
p. 643 ; and by an earlier passage in the document already 
cited in Terrcmotos, p. 125. Cf. the Preface by Father 
J. E. Uriarte, S.J., contributed to the Spanish Edition of 
Cardinal Bellarmine s De Septem Verbis prolatis in Cruce. 

C 



i8 

supplication and atonement may very possibly 
have been further brought home to the inhabi 
tants of Lima by one of the numerous minor 
shocks of earthquake which alarmed the 
citizens between 1687 and I/46. 1 Be this 
however as it may, we shall do well to turn 
now to the Preface of the tiny booklet already 
referred to, which, being founded on the 
earliest printed copy of the " Three Hours," 
may be quoted entire. No attempt has been 
made to alter the writer s phraseology. 

Alphonso Mesia, an apostolic man of the Society 
of Jesus, was the first who introduced this devotion 
at his native city, Lima. It began at mid-day, and 
continued till three in the afternoon on Good 
Friday : and so great was the spiritual joy and 
consolation felt by those who assisted him on this 
occasion, that it met with general approbation, and 
afterwards made a rapid progress. 

At first the servant of God, accompanied by 
several devout persons, practised it privately in his 

1 There were earthquakes in 1688, 1694, 1697, 1698, 
1699, 1713, 1715, 1724, and 1725. I have before me the 
contemporary Relacion of that of 1699. Even on this 
occasion sixteen persons perished in the ruins, and much 
damage was done to property. 



19 

own church ; but the year following, so much was 
it thronged by a concourse of people, anxious to 
assist at a devotion so properly adapted to the day, 
that the pressure of the crowd obliged him to go 
into the pulpit. From thence it diffused itself thro 
nearly all the parish churches and monasteries of 
religious in the city of Lima: from thence over 
Peru, Chili, and Quito; and at length transferred 
itself even to Carthagena, Panama, Mexico, and 
other provinces of the kingdom. 

But as the genius of mankind is various, no 
sooner had this devotion transplanted itself into 
different places, among persons who had not seen 
it practised at Lima, than there appeared so great 
a diversity in the books of the Three Hours, 1 that 
one could scarcely believe it to be the same devo 
tion which had begun at Peru, the method was 
now become so confused and difficult, whereas at 
first it had been plain and easy. To apply a 
remedy to so great an inconvenience, it was 

1 Considerable differences may be noticed between the 
edition which must be considered most authoritative, that 
edited by Father Uriarte in 1886, and another copy which I 
have before me, published by the Propaganda Catolica of 
Madrid, in 1877. Still further removed from the original 
text of Father Mesia, is a French version of the devotion, 
printed by Gunner, at the end of a little book on the 
Stations of the Cross. This last bears hardly any resemblance 
whatever to the first form of the meditations as originally 
designed by their author. 



thought necessary to translate the author s book, 
and give an explanation of the manner in which 
it was practised by himself, in order that by 
printing and publishing both, a more general uni 
formity might prevail in the performance of a 
devotion which was so rapidly extending itself 
among the faithful in other cities and provinces. 

Good Friday being therefore a day held in such 
high veneration among the faithful, it were to be 
wished that, on so remarkable a day, Christians 
would emulate with each other in the fervent 
practice of the Devotion to the Three Hours of 
the Agony of Jesus Christ, our ever blessed 
Redeemer ; the method whereof is as follows : 

A crucifix, or image of Jesus crucified, being 
placed on the altar, with a convenient number of 
lights (decorated in some places in so solemn a 
manner, that the very sight alone inspires respect 
and veneration), the priest, who is the director 
of the function, placing himself before the altar, 
or else in the pulpit, begins by making the sign of 
the cross; and after having invoked the Holy 
Ghost, he makes a short exhortation, in order to 
persuade his hearers how just and necessary a duty 
it is for a Christian to accompany his Redeemer 
during the Three Hours of His Agony on the 
Cross, which, out of His immense charity, He 
suffered for our redemption ; a subject which must 



2 1 

naturally excite the most tender devotion. He 
then proceeds to explain, as well what the Saints 
have said as what they have learned by revelation, 
on the utility of accompanying Jesus Christ in His 
agony, in order that we may become worthy to be 
accompanied by Him at ours. Much may be 
learned on this article from Albert the Great and 
St. Bernard, from the Lives of St. Catharine of 
Sienna, St. Gertrude, St. M. Magdalene de Pazzi, 
and many others. Afterwards, the priest having 
recited with the people something adapted to the 
subject, such as the Salve, or other prayers to our 
Blessed Lady of Dolours, and all the assistants 
being seated, he begins to read the Introduction, 
at the conclusion whereof all kneel and medi 
tate, in silence, on some point of the Passion, 
whilst the choir, accompanied by the harmonious 
melody of instruments, sings something analogous 
to it. 

The priest then having read leisurely with a 
tender affectionate voice the First Word, the people 
kneel and recite or sing some stanzas or verses 
illustrative thereof. At the end of the canticle the 
priest rises, and the people still remaining on their 
knees, recite alternately with him ten Paters and 
Aves, or any other prayer that may be found at the 
end of each word ; and this method is observed 
at the termination of each of the Seven Words. 



22 

We must here observe, that the Director should 
confine himself so strictly to time as not to fall 
short of, or exceed three hours : for, as the intent 
of this devotion is, that it should finish precisely 
at the time that Jesus Christ expired ; so the 
recital of it must be performed slower or faster in 
proportion to the measure of the time that remains; 
and if he perceives that there remains more than 
sufficient, he may add a short exhortation, or such 
of the canticles as may be suitable, in order to 
arrive just at the expiration of the Three Hours. 
When this term approaches, after the seventh word, 
the priest reads, with many pauses of tenderness 
and devotion, the last apostrophe at the end of 
the book. Should there yet remain any time, he 
says the salutations to the five sacred wounds of 
Jesus Christ, which may be also found at the end ; 
but if there be no time to spare, they are omitted. 

On the dial-hand s approaching the point of 
Three, all kneel down, whilst the choir, with a 
tender voice, sings the Credo, measured in such a 
manner, that when the clock strikes they sing, 
Crudfixus et mortuus est ; at which words the 
priest rises, and with a loud and compassionate 
voice exclaims, Jesus Christ is dead! our Redeemer 
has expired! our Father has ceased to live! 
Then with great affection he pronounces an exhor 
tation to tears of compassion, of tenderness, and 



23 

of sorrow for sin ; addressing himself, alternately, 
to Jesus Christ, to His most Holy Mother of 
Dolours, to sinners, &c., when all finishes with a 
fervent Act of Contrition. 1 

It will be noticed from this account that 
the devotion, as originally devised by Father 
Mesia, and as practised in Italy in the early 
years of the present century, differs in more 
than one respect from the plan now cn-n- 
monly followed. What we are now accustomed 
to is a series of discourses with musical 
interludes, the congregation kneeling only 
during the recital of a few vocal prayers. 
The original conception was a three hours 
meditation made by the people themselves, 
upon their knees for the most part, points 
being read aloud for convenience sake at 
suitable intervals. The only extempore dis 
course seems to have been an exhortation 
delivered at the beginning, with, in some 
cases, a similar address at the close, after the 
three hours had really been completed. Even 
in Spain this plan seems early to have under- 
1 Preface, iii. xi. 



24 

gone some slight modification. The following 
description by the unfortunate Blanco White, 1 
which belongs presumably to the first decade 
of this century, will be read with interest : 

The practice of continuing in meditation from 
twelve to three o clock of this day the time which 
our Saviour is supposed to have hung on the 
Cross was introduced by the Spanish Jesuits, and 
partakes of the impressive character which the 
members of that Order had the art to impart to 
the religious practices by which they cherish the 
devotional spirit of the people. The church where 
the three hours is kept, is generally hung in black 
and made impervious to daylight. A large crucifix 
is seen on the high altar, under a black canopy, 
with six unbleached wax-candles, which cast a 
sombre glimmering on the rest of the church. 
The females of all ranks occupy, as usual, the 
centre of the nave, squatting or kneeling on the 
matted ground, and adding to the dismal appear 
ance of the scene, by the colour of their veils and 
dresses. 

1 Mr. Blanco White, a Spanish priest of English descent, 
who joined the Church of England for a while, and ultimately 
died an Agnostic, was a prominent figure in Oxford society 
between 1830 and 1840. He is more than once referred to 
in Cardinal Newman s Lectures on the Present Position of 
Catholics. 



25 

Just as the clock strikes twelve, a priest in his 
cloak and cassock ascends the pulpit, and delivers 
a preparatory address of his own composition. 
He then reads the printed meditation on the Seven 
Words, or Sentences spoken by Jesus on the Cross, 
allotting to each such a portion of time as that, 

with the interludes of music which follow each 



of the readings, the whole may not exceed three 
hours. The music is generally good and appro 
priate, and if a sufficient band can be collected, 
well repays to an amateur the inconvenience of 
a crowded church, where, from the want of seats, 
the male part of the congregation are obliged 
either to stand or kneel. 

It is, in fact, one of the best works of Haydn, 
composed a short time ago for some gentlemen 
of Cadiz, who showed both their taste and liberality 
in thus procuring this master-piece of harmony 
for the use of their country. It has been lately 
published in Germany under the title of Sette 
Parole} 

Haydn s music for the Seven Words was 
originally designed as a series of short sym 
phonies for instruments only. After some 
years, however, he modified this plan, arrang- 

3 Letters from Spain, pp. 260, 261. By "Don Lucadio 
Doblado" (i.e., Blanco White). 1825. 



26 

ing the music for a chorus, with a libretto the 
source of which has been much disputed and 
still remains uncertain. In any case, these 
words have no apparent connection with the 
coplas originally composed by Father Mesia. 
Haydn 1 himself has left us a brief account of 
the occasion of his undertaking the Sette 
Parole in the year 1785. He writes concern 
ing it in March, 1801 : 

It was about fifteen years ago, that I was asked 
by one of the Canons of Cadiz to compose a piece 
of instrumental music on the Seven Words of Jesus 
on the Cross. At that time it was the custom 
every year during Lent to perform an Oratorio in 
the Cathedral at Cadiz, the effect of which was 
greatly heightened by the mise-en-scene. The walls, 
windows, and pillars of the church were draped in 
black cloth, and the religious gloom was only 

1 In Pohl s Biographic Joseph Haydrfs several composers 
are named who have written upon the Seven Words. 
Before Haydn s time there were L. Senfl (in the sixteenth 
century ; cf. Monatshefte fur Musikgeschichte, 1876, p. 149), 
J. Gliick, H. Schiitz, and C. G. Schroter. In the present 
century there have been Count Castelbarko, Joseph Lutz, 
Mercadante, Gounod, and Th. Dubois. The last-named, 
whose beautiful, if slightly theatrical, composition has been 
performed for the last few years during the Three Hours at 
the Jesuit Church of Farm Street, London, first published 
his work in 1870. 



27 

lightened by one large lamp hanging in the centre. 
At mid-day all the doors were closed, and the 
music commenced. After a fitting prelude, the 
Bishop ascended the pulpit, recited one of the 
Seven Words, and gave a meditation on it. When 
it was ended, he came down from the pulpit and 
knelt before the altar. This interlude was filled 
by the music. The Bishop mounted and left the 
pulpit for a second time, a third time, and so on, 
and on each occasion, after the close of the 
address, the orchestra recommenced playing. My 
composition had to be adapted to this method of 
execution. It was not an easy task to produce 
seven Adagios in succession, each of which must 
take about ten minutes to perform, without wearying 
the audience ; and I soon found that I could not 
keep rigorously to the prescribed limits of time. 1 

In this account it is not very clear whether 
the meditations were read from a book or 

1 Pohl s Biographic Joseph Haydn s, vol. i. p. 214. When 
Haydn sold the right of reproducing this composition in 
France to a Parisian publisher, he for a long time remained 
without payment. At last, when he had almost given up 
the hope of seeing his money, a box arrived one day from 
Paris. Haydn got his servant to open it, and found to his 
astonishment that it contained a chocolate tart. "What 
possible use can this be to me ? " he grumbled. However, 
he proceeded to cut it open to give a portion to the servant 
for his trouble, when out there tumbled a roll of silver 
pieces. 



28 

whether they were spoken discourses. In 
Italy, at any rate, it seems that the method of 
Father Mesia was strictly adhered to. None 
the less, the devotion spread very rapidly 
there. It is mentioned by Brancadoro, the 
biographer of Pius VI., that he never failed to 
attend the Three Hours at the Church of the 
Gesu, and this Pope granted a Plenary Indul 
gence, Confession and Communion being of 
course presupposed, to all who assisted at 
it. In 1818, according to Cancellieri, 1 the 
service was held in four or five other places 
in Rome beside the Gesu, and was known 
everywhere throughout the world. In England 
it seems to have been confined at first to a 
few Jesuit churches, but in the early sixties it 
was taken up by the Ritualists, and since 
then has become strangely popular even with 
Anglicans of Evangelical views. St. Paul s 
Cathedral, London, has had a Three Hours 
service on Good Friday for more than twenty 
years. 2 Many of the other Cathedrals have 

1 Settimana Santa, Appendix. 

2 It does not seem easy to obtain accurate information as 
to the date of the introduction of the Three Hours Service 



followed suit ; and there are also, of course, 
a number of the larger parish churches, 

into Anglican churches. The following letter, which is 
quoted in the Guardian for March 3Oth, 1864, may be given 
for what it is worth. The writer, who signs himself "A Priest 
who was present," there says : "I believe the English 
Church is indebted to Mr. Mackonochie for the revival or 
an adaptation of an admirable ancient Office in commemo 
ration of the Three Hours on the Cross. At all events such 
an Office was held at St. Alban s [Holborn], and I gladly 
direct attention to its details. The service began at 2 p.m. 
with the Litany of the Church. Mr. Mackonochie from the 
pulpit then explained the outline of the Office, and, with the 
help of the choir, conducted it. First some general remarks 
were made upon the whole subject, then the word from the 
Cross was chanted by the whole choir. This word was 
taken as a text for a short address or meditation. Then, 
by invitation, the congregation knelt for a short space in 
meditation on the points put forth by the preacher, whilst, 
as he said, the organ played soft music. Lastly a hymn 
on the Passion to a popular tune was sung. And this 
completed the first portion of the Office. The same order 
was followed throughout, and a few words of exhortation 
concluded the service, which, I was astonished to find, over 
passed the allotted time by half an hour. It was a most 
Catholic and beautiful office, and which any clergyman may 
adopt. . . ." In an editorial note it is added : "We have 
heard that there was somewhat of a similar service at 
St. Matthias , Stoke Newington, which was crowded with 
worshippers." The services referred to took place in 1864, 
apparently for the first time. The first English Cathedral 
to adopt the "Three Hours" was St. Paul s, where a 
numerously signed petition for its introduction had been 
sent to the Dean and Chapter. It was held for the first 
time in 1878. An attempt was made by a Protestant Associa 
tion to organize a demonstration outside the Cathedral to 
protest against the service, but the police authorities inti 
mated that no such assembly would be permitted. 



30 

besides the more distinctly Ritualistic centres, 
where the devotion has long been popular. 
In most of these, if I mistake not, the modern 
practice is followed of preaching a series of 
seven or eight little sermons, interrupted by 
music, but in some a space is left free between 
each Word for quiet private meditation. 

There is, as far as I have seen, an 
absolutely unanimous agreement in attribut 
ing the origin of the Three Hours service to 
Father Mesia. Neither is there room for 
doubt that the received history of its develop 
ment, by which it is supposed to have spread 
from Peru to Spain, from Spain to Italy, 
and thence throughout the Christian world, is 
strictly accurate. A difficulty, however, has 
been raised on account of the existence, as 
far back as the year 1624, of a sermon by a 
Franciscan Friar, bearing the following title, 
Sermo Trihorarius de Prcecipuis Dominica 
Passionis Mysteriis habitus ipso die Parasceves 
a Fratre Nicolao Orano, Ord. Min., Lovanii, 
1624. Curiously as this title seems to 
anticipate the service now familiar to us, the 



book stands alone, and cannot, without further 
evidence, be pleaded against the clear tradition 
and the contemporary records which connect 
this devotion with the name of Father Mesia. 
In the first place, Sermo Trihorarius, as used 
by a Latinist of that age, might as easily 
mean a sermon about the Three Hours as a 
three hours sermon. It would not, I think, 
have sounded extravagant then for a preacher 
to entitle a similar discourse about the Burial 
of our Lord, &c., Sermo Triduanus deprczcipuis 
Christi Domini Mysteriis factis in SepulcJiro, 
where, of course, Sermo Triduanus would not 
mean a sermon three days long, but a sermon 
about the three days. However, even granting 
that the word Trihorarins refers to the dura 
tion of the discourse, it is possible that the 
author only wished to recall the fact that he 
did actually preach on a particular occasion 
for three hours together. Long sermons were 
much more in fashion then than they are 
now. Giacomo Volaterrario, in his diary, 
printed by Muratori, 1 relates that in the year 

1 Rerum Italicartun^ xxiv. 130. 



32 

1 48 1, on Good Friday, William the Sicilian, 
of the household of the Cardinal of Amalfi, 
delivered in the presence of the Pope a 
discourse on the Passion of our Lord. " He 
was a man learned in Hebrew, Greek, and 
Latin, and he passed in review all the mysteries 
of the Passion of Jesus Christ, confirming them 
by the authority and writings of the Hebrews 
and the Arabs, quoting their very words in 
their own language. The discourse, although 
it occupied the space of two hours, neverthe 
less delighted every one, both for the variety 
the preacher gave to it, as well as for the 
sound of the Hebrew and Arabic words, which 
he pronounced as though they were his own 
native tongue. Everybody commended the 
preacher, the Pontiff and the Cardinals among 
the first." 

It seems clear from this account that the 
impressiveness of " that blessed word Meso 
potamia," has not been felt for the first time 
in our day. 

Still more startling must have been the 
sermon which Father Evangelist Marcellino, 



33 

a Franciscan Observant, preached upon the 
Passion in the Duomo of Florence in 1685, 
lasting three hours and a half. Cancellieri 
declares that in his time it was common for 
Spanish preachers to go beyond two hours, 
a remark which is well borne out by the 
satires of Father Isla, in his Fray Gerundio. 

However, what seems to me decisive in 
rejecting any claim which might be advanced 
on behalf of Fra Nicolas Orano, is the 
absence of any trace that the devotion was 
taken up by others. Even by the biblio 
graphers of his own Order, as for instance, 
John a S. Antonio, his book is either over 
looked or imperfectly described. The same 
John a S. Antonio gives an elaborately 
classified list of Franciscan sermons, and the 
occasions on which they were preached. In 
this, Fra Orano s sermon is alluded to, but it 
stands absolutely alone. To all appearance, 
he had no imitators even amongst his own 
Order. We are justified then, it seems to 
me, in refusing to allow that Father Mesia s 
claim can be seriously contested until some 
D 



34 

evidence is produced of a custom of delivering 
such Three Hour sermons previously to his 
time. 

The only other allusion I have found to 
any similar practice, is a statement made by 
Father J. E. de Uriarte, S.J., in his Preface to 
Bellarmine s Seven Words, already referred 
to. There is a little book, he says, entitled, 
Constituciones y Reglas para el gobierno de la 
Real Congregation de Indignos Esclavos del 
SS. Sacramento . . . en su Oratorio publico 
de la Calle del Olivar (Constitutions and 
Rules for the administration of the Royal 
Confraternity of the Unworthy Slaves of the 
Most Holy Sacrament ... in their public 
Oratory of the Calle del Olivar), in which it 
is asserted that, "as early as the year 1648, 
another most devout exercise was established 
and practised on Good Friday, which consists 
in the maintaining of an uninterrupted prayer 
in this Oratory from mid-day until three in 
the afternoon, in reverence of those same 
three hours during which our Saviour Jesus 
Christ hung dying upon the Cross. In order 



35 

to arouse the devotion of those present, there 
are read at intervals the meditations on the 
Seven Words (las Meditaciones de las Siete 
Palabras) which our Lord spoke at that 
time." 1 I must confess that until better 
evidence is brought, I am inclined to believe 
that the date 1648 has been accidentally 
misprinted for 1748. The writer seems to 
refer to "the meditations of the Seven Words," 
as to a well-known exercise of devotion. This 
is intelligible enough in 1748, sixteen years 
after Father Mesia s death, but we have no 
knowledge of any recognized set of medita 
tions to which the words could apply in 
1648. Cardinal Bellarmine s are a great 
deal too lengthy to have been used for such 
a purpose. 

Finally, there is no difficulty in supposing 
that the same idea may have occurred inde 
pendently to two or even to many persons. 
In Father Mesia s case the germ fructified 
and spread. In Fra Orano s, the idea was 
still-born. That the Peruvian Jesuit had been 
1 Ch. iii. Edit. 1780, p. 49. 



- 36- 

anticipated, at least in one instance, and that 
more than thirteen hundred years before his 
day, we now know upon unexceptionable 
evidence. The account of this, which only 
came to light a few years since, is found in 
the Gaulish lady s note -book, best known as 
the Pilgrimage of St. Silvia, 1 where we learn 
the singularly interesting fact, that in the 
city of Jerusalem, within the basilica built 
by Constantine over the site of the Holy 
Sepulchre, there was celebrated at the, end of 
the fourth century a three hours service on 
Good Friday, closely akin in spirit to that 
devised by Father Mesia. It is to be feared 
that the piety of modern days cannot bear 
comparison with that of St. Silvia and 
her contemporaries, but the object of our 
present service is identical with that of the 
assembly which she describes in the following 
terms : 

1 First published by Signer Gamurrini, in 1887, from a 
MS. at Arezzo. It has been reprinted by Duchesne as an 
Appendix to his Origines du Culte Chretien, and in other 
collections. An English translation may be found among 
the publications of the Palestine Pilgrims Text Society. 



37 

But when (on Good Friday) the sixth hour has 
come, the people assemble in the court before the 
Cross, and there they are packed so tightly that 
it is hardly possible even to open the doors. The 
Bishop s chair is placed before the Cross, and from 
the sixth to the ninth hour nothing is done but 
read those passages of the Scripture and the Holy 
Gospels which have reference to the Passion of 
our Saviour. . . . And at the several lections and 
prayers there is such emotion displayed and 
lamentation of all the people as is wonderful to 
hear. For there is no one, great or small, who 
does not weep on that day during those three 
hours, in a way which cannot be imagined, that 
the Lord should have suffered such things for us. 

And thereupon when the ninth hour (three 
o clock) approaches, that passage is read from the 
Gospel according to St. John where our Lord gave 
up the ghost ; and when this has been read, a 
prayer is said and the assembly is dismissed. 

When we remember the extraordinary 
rigour of the Lenten fast amongst these 
Eastern Christians, many of whom passed 
five consecutive days in the week absolutely 
without food, and all of whom seem to have 
abstained for periods varying from twenty- 



- 38 - 

four hours to three days, 1 we shall better be 
able to understand the cost at which this 
pious exercise of compassion with the Three 
Hours of our Saviour s Agony was carried 
out. Nearly the whole of the preceding 
night had been spent by these early 
Christians of Jerusalem, both young and 
old, in contemplation and prayer on the 
Mount of Olives. In the grey of the early 
morning they had returned to the city 
to snatch a few brief hours of slumber in 
their homes, but as early as eight o clock, 
a.m., the exercise had begun, as St. Silvia 
informs us, of the kissing of the relic of the 
True Cross. The Bishop sat, holding the 
sacred wood in his hand, with the deacons 
around him. Each worshipper then came up 
in turn, bowed down, touched the relic with 
his forehead and his eyes, kissed the wood of 
the Cross and the title, and then passed on. 
If any one would convince himself how abso- 



1 These things sound incredible, but they all rest upon the 
high authority of St. Silvia s narrative, and they are con 
firmed by the statements of St. Epiphanius and St. Jerome, 



39 ~ 

lutely identical in spirit are the devotions to 
the Passion now practised, say, for instance, 
in the " Three Hours," or the Stations of the 
Cross, with those of the early Christians in 
the fourth century, let him read such authentic 
memorials of that age as the Pilgrimage of 
St. Silvia, the Hymns of St. Ephraem, or the 
still earlier fragments of St. Melito of Sardis. 1 
Whatever objection may be raised against 
the exercise introduced, or should we not 
rather say, revived, by Father Mesia, it cannot 
rightly be called new-fangled, or even " un- 
primitive." 

HERBERT THURSTON. 



1 Some few specimens of these have been cited by the 
present writer in a pamphlet entitled Dean Farrar on the 
Observance of Good Friday, 



ON THE SEVEN WORDS OF CHRIST 
ON THE CROSS. 

A PRAYER FOUND IN THE WORKS OF THE 
VENERABLE BEDE. 

Blessed be the Sweet Name of Jesus Christ 
our Lord God, and of the Most Sweet Virgin 
Mary, His Mother, now and for ever. Amen. 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, 
who while hanging on the Cross, at Thy life s 
close, spake seven words, that we might 
always have those holy words in remem 
brance, I beseech Thee, by the virtue of those 
seven words, that Thou wouldst forgive and 
spare me, whatever I have sinned and mis- 
done by the seven deadly sins, or their fruits, 
namely, through pride, avarice, lust, envy, 
anger, gluttony, and sloth. 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living 
God, as Thou saidest, " Father, forgive 



those who crucify Me," make me for love 
of Thee to forgive all who wrong me. 
And as Thou saidest to Thy Mother, 
"Woman, behold thy Son," and to Thy 
disciple, " Behold thy Mother," make Thy love 
and true charity unite me to Thy Mother. 
And as Thou saidest to the thief, "To-day 
shalt thou be with Me in Paradise," make me 
so to live that at the hour of death Thou 
mayest say to me, u To-day thou shalt be 
with Me in Paradise." And as Thou saidest, 
" Eli, Eli, Lama Sabacthani," which is, " My 
God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" 
make me to say in all times of sorrow and 
tribulation, " O Lord, my Father, have mercy 
on me a sinner, rule me, my King and my 
God, who hast redeemed me with Thine 
own Blood." And as Thou saidest, "I 
thirst," that is, for the salvation of the Holy 
Souls, who were in Limbo expecting Thy 
coming, make me always to thirst to love 
Thee, the fountain of living water, the fountain 
of eternal light, and to desire Thee with my 
whole heart. And as Thou saidest, " Father, 



43 

into Thy hands I commend My Spirit," 
make me in my last hour, to be able to 
say fully and freely, " Father, into Thy hands 
I commend my spirit. Receive me coming 
to Thee, because Thou hast now set 1 a certain 
time to my life." And as Thou saidest, " It is 
finished," which signifies that the sorrows 
Thou didst bear for us, miserable sinners, are 
now ended, make me deserve, when my soul 
goes hence, to hear that most sweet word of 
Thine, "Come, My beloved soul, for now 
have I resolved to make an end of thy pains ; 
come, and with Me, and with My saints and 
elect, enter into My Kingdom, to feast, and 
rejoice, and dwell therein for ever and ever 
more." Amen. 

1 The printed editions read, " Quia non constituisti certum 
tempus vitse mere," where non seems to be a misprint for 
jam. 



THE DEVOTION 

TO THE 

THREE HOURS OF THE AGONY 

OF 

JESUS CHRIST OUR REDEEMER. 

BY FATHER ALONSO MESIA, SJ. 



The Exercise begins with the recitation of the 
Veni Creator Spirittis. 

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator, come 
From Thy bright heavenly throne : 

Come, take possession of our souls, 
And make them all Thy own. 

Thou who art called the Paraclete, 

Best gift of God above, 
The Living Spring, the Living Fire, 

Sweet Unction and True Love. 

Thou who art sevenfold in Thy grace, 

Finger of God s right hand ; 
His promise teaching little ones 

To speak and understand ; 

Oh, guide our minds with Thy blest light, 
With love our hearts inflame ; 

And with Thy strength which ne er decays, 
Confirm our mortal frame. 



Far from us drive our deadly foe ; 

True peace unto us bring ; 
And through all perils lead us safe 

Beneath Thy sacred wing. 

Through Thee may we the Father know 
Through Thee th Eternal Son, 

And Thee, the Spirit of them both, 
Thrice-blessed Three in One. 

All glory to the Father be, 

With His co-equal Son ; 
The same to Thee, great Paraclete, 

Whilst endless ages run. Amen. 

Then is sung the INVITATION in the following words : 

For His faithless people, Jesus, the gentle Lamb, is 
about to die, nailed to the rood on Calvary. Whoever 
would show himself a loyal follower, let him not lose 
these gracious moments, but let him draw near to listen 
to His dying words. 1 

1 It has seemed better to be content with a prose rendering 
of the Spanish verses, the original of which will be given in 
each case in a footnote. 

For su pueblo fementido, 
Ya clavado en un madero 
Va Jesus, manso cordero, 
Sobre el Golgota a morir. 

Quien de serle fiel se precia, 
Ah ! no pierda estos momentos, 
Y sus ultimos acentos 
Presto, presto venga a oir. 



PRELIMINARY INSTRUCTION. 



As faithful Christians who love our Saviour 
Jesus, and who have been bought and redeemed, 
at the price of His most precious Blood, Death, 
and Passion, from the slavery of sin and the devil, 
we ought to contemplate, with the greatest attention 
and reverence, the anguish and torments which our 
beloved Redeemer suffered on the Cross during 
the three hours of His agony torments so exces 
sively cruel that, according to St. Bernard, no 
human understanding could comprehend or created 
tongue express them. 

From the sole of our Saviour s foot to the crown 
of His head no part remained whole. Consider 
Him well, O my soul, one huge wound from 
head to foot : His shoulders and His whole body 
torn by whips and scourges His breast weakened 
by blows His head horribly pierced by thorns 
the hair of His beard torn off from the flesh His 
face covered with contusions from the blows His 
veins emptied of their blood His mouth parched 
with thirst His tongue tormented with bitterness 
from the gall and vinegar His feet and hands 



-4* - 

pierced with great nails, whilst the wounds they 
have made are gradually lengthened by the weight 
of His body His heart afflicted, and His soul 
ready to depart, overwhelmed with insupportable 
sorrow and anguish. And yet in truth it was not 
this which most afflicted Him it was His own will 
that delivered Him up to the torments of the Cross. 
What pierced His Heart most during His agony 
was the knowledge He had of our sins, and of the 
small return we should make for so much love. It 
was our ingratitude that caused Him to feel the 
agony of death. Ah ! who can reflect on it without 
horror ? Where is he who will not deplore the evil 
of sin from the bottom of his heart, since it is sin 
alone that has caused our beloved Redeemer to 
suffer such a mortal agony ? 

During these three long hours of terrible 
torment, in which the waters of bitterness could 
never quench the flame of His charity, He offered 
His Life and His Blood as a sacrifice to His 
Eternal Father for our happiness. During these 
three hours, although with our eyes we do not 
see Him, He had us incessantly present to His 
mind, to offer Himself for each individual of us, 
as if each had been the only creature in the world, 
and the sole object of His love. During these 
three hours He saw the least of our sins with all 
its circumstances as clearly as He does at the 



49 

moment we commit them, being so deeply 
penetrated with grief at the sight, that out of com 
passion He offered His most precious Blood in 
satisfaction for them. During these three hours He 
wrested the handwriting that was against us out of 
the hands of the devil, the prince of this world, 
nailed it to the Cross, and effaced it with His 
Blood. During these three hours, at the price of 
His bitter agony, He purchased from His Eternal 
Father all the treasures His Bounty had to give, 
viz., all the good thoughts, holy inspirations, and 
Divine helps, with which we have been favoured. 
O blessed mindfulness of our most sweet Re 
deemer ! O the boon of those three golden hours 
employed for our deliverance from guilt, during 
which we were present not only to the memory of 
our loving Saviour on Mount Calvary, but near to 
His Sacred Heart burning with love and infinite 
charity. O Christian souls ! how can we repay 
what we owe our most sweet Jesus, unless, during 
these three hours, we try to prove in turn our own 
great love for Him ? 

Let us, therefore, address ourselves to the Eternal 
Father, our God and our Judge. Inspired with 
confidence by the agony of Jesus our Redeemer, 
let us say to Him, in all humility and affection 
of our hearts : O Eternal Father ! supreme Judge 
and Lord of our souls, whose justice is incompre- 

E 



50 

hensible ! since Thou hast ordained that Thy most 
innocent Son should bear the burden of our 
immense debts, look down, we beseech Thee, upon 
His excruciating agony and sufferings which He is 
enduring during these three hours on account of 
our crimes. Deign to accept the ransom so 
worthy of Thy Majesty, which He offers Thee 
of His Blood, in order that Thy justice may be 
appeased. Let Thine indignation cease, O Lord, 
and since Thou art now abundantly satisfied, grant 
that we, being freed from our debts by the three 
hours agony which Thy Son Jesus suffered through 
His immense love for us, may deserve to obtain 
what He asks in our name, viz., the pardon of our 
sins, and the powerful assistance of Thy grace, now, 
and at the hour of our death. 

Here all kneel down to meditate on what has been read ; 
during which time some appropriate music may be played or 
sung, together with the following verses : 

Come to Calvary, Christian souls, for our sweet 
Jesus from the A Itar of the Cross wishes to speak to 
your souls to-day. 1 

When they are seated again the priest reads aloud the 
First Word. 

1 Al Calvario, almas, llegad, 
Que nuestro dulce Jesus, 
Desde el ara de la cruz 
Hoy a todos quiere hablar. 



THE FIRST WORD, 

Uttered by our Saviour on the Cross. 

FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW 
NOT WHAT THEY DO. 

Behold our Heavenly Master sitting exalted in 
His doctor s chair, the gibbet of the Cross. 
Hitherto He has kept profound silence, and now 
He opens His Divine lips to teach the world in 
seven words the most sublime doctrine of His love. 

Be attentive, O my soul ! animate all thy 
powers : it is God Himself who teaches thee : He 
will demand a strict account of these seven lessons. 
O Jesus, full of love for us ! O Divine Master ! 
speak speak, O Lord, Thy children hear Thee. 

All nature is disturbed at beholding the suffer 
ings of its Creator. The earth is covered with a 
thick darkness ; an earthquake rends the rocks 
asunder, and bursts open the graves; the angels 
are horror-stricken in beholding their Lord in such 
cruel torments ; the devils are raging with anger, 
because the chastisement which men deserve for 
their sins is not immediately inflicted on them, 
as it was upon themselves. We might imagine 



52 

that all nature, irritated against sinners, demanded 
justice and vengeance of the Eternal Father: Usque- 
quo, Domine, sanctus et vents, non vindicas sanguinem 
Filii tui ! How long, O Lord, just and holy, wilt 
Thou delay to wreak Thy vengeance upon sinners 
for the Blood of Thy innocent Son, and for all 
the injuries committed against Him ? We might 
imagine that at the moment this cry made itself 
heard, Divine Justice was about to discharge the 
thunders of its anger to avenge itself on criminal 
mankind. 

But the Redeemer of the world, displaying His 
infinite charity, raises His nearly sightless eyes to 
His Eternal Father, testifying His obedience, and 
says : My Father and my Lord, restrain the arm of 
Thy justice. I conjure Thee by this Cross upon which 
I die, by the Blood I shed without ceasing, I entreat, 
I demand of Thee to pardon sinners the crimes which 
have placed Me on this Cross. 

Father / forgive them, they know not what they 
do. 

O sinful soul ! hearken attentively to this first 
word. Listen to Jesus, as He calls upon His Father 
who was your Father also from all eternity. Behold 
the greatness of your origin ; you are no less than 
the child of an Eternal God. O Eternal Father! 
can I then call Thee my Father, I, who am so 
ungrateful and guilty a child ? What strange blind- 



53 

ness has separated me from Thee ? What an 
unaccountable folly to despise Thy caresses and 
Thy grace for the vile love of creatures ? Into 
what a miserable state have my sins brought 
me ? Whither do my passions lead me? What a 
wretched condition I find myself in when I offend 
Thee. O most affectionate Father ! I am miserable 
in my sins ; to whom shall I turn my eyes ? I will 
turn them towards Thee, O Father of Mercy. But 
how can so ungrateful a sinner presume to return 
and appear in the presence of a Father whom he 
has so grievously offended ? Yes, return, O afflicted 
soul ! return for God is always your Father. I 
will return ; but miserable wretch as I am my 
courage fails me on account of my iniquities : 
my crimes are without number, and I fear lest 
those looks of love should be converted into 
looks of anger : it is better to die than approach 
Him. Go, I say, repenting soul, go for He is 
your Father ; and this Jesus, whom your sins have 
crucified, is your Brother : it is He who presents 
you to His Father ; it is He who beseeches Him 
to pardon you, and offers His Blood for your sins. 

Jesus, O loving Brother, give me those blessed 
feet that I may kiss them with my lips, and 
bathe them with my tears. What ! is it Thou who 
askest pardon for my crimes? and is it possible 

1 do not die of love for Thee ? Wretch that I am 



54 

how great is the hardness of my heart. Go then 
with confidence, O repenting soul. Go, sinner, and 
obtain pardon. Behold, Heaven, moved with pity, 
interests itself in your behalf. Your most merciful 
and compassionate Saviour prays thus to His Eternal 
Father for you : O Father, behold at Thy feet these 
miserable sinners ! remember not, O Lord, that they 
have crucified Me, but rather that I die for them : 
instead of their sins, remember My love : not their 
ingratitude, but the Blood that I have shed. Look 
not upon their sins, but upon the life I offer for them 
on this Cross. 

Father ! forgive them, they know not what they 
do. 

O infinite charity of our gracious Saviour, the 
flames of which the cruel waters of tribulation 
could never extinguish ! O what sublime doctrine 
has He not taught us in this first word ! Hearken, 
O my soul, how He excuses those who crucified 
Him how He pardons His most cruel enemies, 
and in them all sinners who have offended Him, 
and who by their offences have nailed Him to the 
Cross. Father ! forgive them, they know not what 
they do. Learn, O my soul, from the example of 
Jesus, never to exaggerate the faults of others, or 
to resent the affronts you may receive. Learn to 
excuse the offences of your neighbour, even though 
he should be your enemy ; never put an unfavour- 



55 

able interpretation on his actions, but attribute his 
errors to ignorance, inadvertency, zeal, or any other 
cause, rather than an evil intention. O what a 
terrible burthen is laid on revengeful souls by this 
word of our Lord ! He beseeches His Eternal 
Father to pardon the many criminal words and 
actions wherewith you insult and crucify Him, and 
yet you nourish rancour in your heart, and refuse 
to pardon a trivial word, or slight affront, for His 
sake. O unaccountable obstinacy ! What feeling 
of Christianity can remain in the soul of him 
who has no compassion for his enemy? If you 
care only for those who flatter you, and you hate 
those who offend you, what difference is there 
between you and a heathen ? Why then do you 
call yourself a Christian ? Reflect seriously on this 
truth, and be assured that Jesus Christ will treat 
you in the same manner He will refuse to you 
what you deny to your brother. If you refuse to 
speak to him, or to look at him ; if you refuse to 
offer him your hand in the same manner shall you 
to a certainty be treated by your Lord. You will 
hear no consoling word from His lips, nor will He 
vouchsafe to cast upon you one glance of com 
passion. Forgive then, O Christian, if you would 
be forgiven by Jesus. 

O Eternal Father, since Thou wilt pardon the 
innumerable sins I have committed against Thy 



- 5 6- 

Divine Majesty, I do forgive all my enemies, not only 
once, but a thousand times for love of Thy most 
holy Son. Pardon me, O Lord, I knew not what 
I did when I offended Thee ; and if, on account 
of my ingratitude, I do not deserve to be heard, 
Thy most precious Son has merited forgiveness in 
my stead. Through His Blood and agony I 
therefore crave Thy pardon ; forgive me, Lord, 
I knew not what I did. 

Mercy ! O God of pity ! for the sake of Thy 
beloved Son Jesus. 

Here all kneel down and meditate on the First Word 
of Jesus on the Cross. In the meantime the following words 
may be sung, or some other music played. 

I confess, O Jesus, that I was once Thy enemy 
but intercede for me and I shall surely obtain pardon. 
When I was wayward I offended Thee, but I knew 
not what I did. Sweetest Jesus of my soul, pray to 
Thy Father for me. 1 



1 Pues que fui vuestro enemigo, 
Mi Jesus, como confieso, 
Rogad por mi, que con eso 
Seguro el perdon consigo. 
Cuando loco te ofendi, 
No supe lo que me hacia ; 
Buen Jesus del alma mia, 
Rogad al Padre por mi. 



57 

In thanksgiving for the pardon our Lord asked for us, 
recite five times, or oftener, what follows : 

Be Thou praised and blessed for ever, O cruci 
fied Lord, for the pardon of our sins which Thou 
hast obtained for us. 

Make the following Acts : 

I believe in God : I hope in God : I love 
God above all things : I am grieved for having 
offended Him, because He is the Almighty and 
all-gracious God. I firmly purpose not to offend 
Him any more. 

O Mary ! admirable Mother ! the Advocate of 
sinners, obtain for me, I beseech thee, through 
Jesus crucified, the pardon of my sins, and grace 
never more to offend Him. 



-58- 



THE SECOND WORD, 

Addressed by our Lord to the Good Thief. 

THIS DAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN 
PARADISE. 

Consider, O devout soul, Jesus between two 
sinners ; one repentant, the other hardened ; one 
yielding to grace, the other defiant ; one saving 
his soul, the other losing it. 

O profound mystery of predestination ! O de 
plorable heedlessness of mankind ! My soul, who 
hearest the difference between these two inscru 
table destinies, examine thyself well : observe by 
the state of thy conscience, on which side thou art : 
wilt thou save thyself with the good thief, or damn 
thyself with the bad one? How many are there 
here present who will be companions with the bad 
thief in Hell ? O dreadful and appalling thought ! 
O man, how happens it that thou livest so 
negligently; or that thou, O woman, art so 
indifferent, in a matter so doubtful and uncertain ? 
Which of the thieves do you envy most; the 
wicked rebellious thief, or the penitent and humble 
one? If the latter, why do you not imitate his 



59 ~ 

humility? why do you remain on the cross of 
your vices with so much obstinacy? A sinner, 
and proud ! Depart from me, thou bad thief. 
A sinner, but a humble one : Ah ! there is mercy 
for thee. As the bad thief revolts against Jesus, 
denies and insults Him, as if He had unjustly 
made Himself God, so all blasphemers aggravate 
their awful sin of blasphemy by insult and con 
tempt. Not so the good thief: enlightened by 
the Divine light of Jesus, he acknowledges Him 
for his God, and adores Him. O my God, how 
potent is Thy light ! Who can steel himself 
against Thy appeal? Christians, render not useless 
those tender invitations of thy Saviour. Open 
your hearts to them, and let them sink deep. 
The happy thief turns towards Jesus, and with a 
plaintive voice says, Lord, I place my whole trust 
in Thee : in Thee alone I hope : O Lord, my God 
and my Redeemer, remember me when Thou comest 
into Thy Kingdom. O blessed sinner ! Who told 
thee, criminal, that this crucified Man is thy God 
and thy Redeemer ? Stand confounded, ye judges, 
with shame and confusion, to hear a thief confess 
Jesus Christ on the Cross, whilst you so obstinately 
deny Him notwithstanding all His miracles. How 
many Christians there are who confess Him with 
their lips, whilst they deny Him by their works ! 
What sort of a confession of Christ dost thou 



6o 

make, O man, that art the victim of thy passions, 
or thou, woman, lost to shame and modesty ? So 
far from being firm in your confession unto death 
like the good thief, you have scarcely made it 
before you fall back into your vices and iniquities. 
What sort of a confession is this? Does your 
conduct resemble that of the good or the bad 
thief? of the penitent or the reprobate? 

No sooner had Jesus Christ heard the voice of 
the thief, who acknowledged Him for his Lord, 
imploring pardon for the past, than He instantly 
granted his request, absolved him from his 
sins, and remitted all the punishment he had 
merited. This day, said He, thou shalt be with 
Me in Paradise. Yes, this day this Friday of 
My sorrows. O great day ! is there any one here 
present who will not make profit of this hour? 
O happy sinner ! blessed penitent ! you find your 
self by the side of your Redeemer on this great 
day, when He holds the key of Heaven in His 
hand, and throws the door of salvation open to all 
poor sinners. To-day, Christians, there remain 
no more days of sorrow for man ; Jesus has taken 
them all upon Himself. To-day pain is at an end, 
for Jesus has drained the chalice of pain to the 
dregs. To-day there is no more danger of Hell 
for those who repent, since Jesus by His torments 
has taken Hell for His own portion. To-day, 



6r 

Paradise is opened to repenting sinners. To-day 
all is mercy all is glory. Come then, O sinners ! 
however enormous your crimes may be, come 
and enjoy this propitious time; it will cost you 
little only a word of sorrow, a look, or a sigh 
from a penitent heart. Is it possible that on such 
a day as this, you can remain obdurate ? O most 
merciful Jesus ! at what other time can I find 
Thee more liberal, more generous, or more ready 
to bestow Thy manifold gifts. O most lovable 
Heart, overwhelmed with love and solicitude for 
the salvation of sinners, communicate Thy pity to 
the world ; inflame all hearts with the fire of Thy 
love, in order that the whole universe may be 
converted to Thee. Behold, O great God ! how 
Hell is filling every day, not only with Jews, 
Heretics and Infidels, but even with Christians. 
What a heartrending thought ! even this very 
day, O my Saviour, how many souls will be 
lost ! What a dreadful thought, that Thy Blood 
should be shed for so many souls in vain. 
Have pity, O Lord, have pity on Christians. 
Look favourably on Thy flock. Suffer not the 
devil to boast of so many triumphs. Let all be 
saved this day, on which Thou so liberally offerest 
pardon to all. Let all be saved, O Lord ! and, 
repenting with the good thief, may we all confess 
Thee to be our God and our Redeemer. May we 



62 

all sincerely deplore our past sins \ may we firmly 
purpose to amend our lives, and make a sincere 
confession of our wrong-doing. For this end, 
O Lord, grant us a sincere sorrow, that to-day 
Thou mayest remember us in Thy Kingdom. 

Here all kneel down and meditate on what has been read, 
while the following words are sung : 

Reverently, O Jesus, the Good Thief implores Thy 
mercies. I likewise beseech Thee par don of my iniquities. 
If to the repentant thief, Thou promisest a reward in 
Heaven, may I not also, my Saviour, hope confidently 
for the same. 1 

Then repeat five times the prayer of the Good Thief. 

Have pity on me, O Lord, and in Thy mercy 
remember me when Thou comest into Thy 
Heavenly Kingdom. 

Then, 

I believe in God. I hope, &c., as on page 57. 

1 Reverente el buen Ladron 
Imploro vuestras piedades ; 
Yo tambien de mis maldades 
Os pido, Seilor, perdon. 

Si al Ladron arrepentido 
Dais lugar alia en ei Cielo, 
Ya yo tambien sin recelo 
La gloria, mi Dueno, os pido. 



-6 3 - 



THE THIRD WORD, 

Addressed by our Lord to His most Holy Mother. 

WOMAN, BEHOLD THY SON : SON, BEHOLD 
THY MOTHER. 

Our Lord, from the height of His Cross, is 
looking down upon His blessed Mother, whose 
heart is sunk in an abyss of anguish, and yet He 
opens before her a new abyss of anguish by giving 
her all mankind to be her children in the person 
of St. John. 

O most afflicted Mother ! what a piercing sword 
must it not be, that thus so deeply wounds thy 
tender heart? Thy Son Jesus commends all 
sinners to thee, that thou mayest receive them for 
thy children in His place. O heartrending 
exchange ! thou losest thy most amiable Son 
Jesus, and in His stead receivest sinners, nay, 
even such perverse and obstinate sinners, as have 
repeatedly crucified Him by their sins. O most 
sorrowful Lady, what a torment to thy tender 
heart, already deeply wounded without this new 
stab. What ! so ungrateful a wretch committed to 
thy care ! so grievous a sinner to be adopted for 



-6 4 - 

thy child ! O infinite charity of our Saviour towards 
sinners, in confiding them to His own blessed 
Mother to be their Mother also. O incomparable 
mercy of the compassionate Mother of Jesus ! who, 
full of love and gentleness, presses the whole world 
to her bosom, with all tender solicitude and 
maternal affection. O Refuge of Sinners, how 
shall we express our gratitude for so great, so 
heroic an act, by which thou hast vouchsafed to 
accept us for thy children? By what obedience, 
by what services, can we render ourselves worthy 
of so great a favour? O happy sinners! reflect 
with joy on the eminent dignity of Mary, your 
Mother. Mary, who is the Mother of God : a 
Mother, full of grace ; a Mother, the mirror of 
sanctity and purity, and this Mother your Mother 
also. Alas ! what a contrast between so holy a 
Mother and such perverse children : between a 
Mother so pure and children so corrupt. O great 
Queen of Heaven, take us now under thy protection, 
and make us children worthy of thee. Where is the 
Christian, who with the greatest submission and 
confidence ought not to acknowledge thee for his 
Mother. Hell trembled at hearing the words 
of Jesus : the devils raged with envy. Hearken, 
O man ! listen, O Hell ! Mary is the Mother of 
sinners, the Mother of the just, the Mother of 
all. O blessed Lady, I kiss thy sacred feet a 



-6s - 

thousand times, and exclaim with a voice that I 
wish might echo through heaven and earth, 
However unworthy I am to be called the child of 
Mary, yet, O great Queen, obtain that I may one 
day behold thee, and love thy Son Jesus, as much, if 
possible, as thou thyself lovest Him. O devout 
souls, look up to Jesus who gives you to His 
Mother s care, and, in her, bestows on you all the 
riches of His mercy, which you will never obtain 
without the intercession of Mary. Through her 
we obtain pardon from her Son, together with all 
His precious graces. O Jesus, inexhaustible 
fountain of love and generosity, what a boundless 
love must have been Thine to love us with so 
much tenderness. Since Jesus, O my soul, has 
said to thee, Ecce Mater, Behold thy Mother ! 
surely thou art bound to contemplate her, to medi 
tate on her graces with all thy powers and faculties. 
Consider her well, O my soul, lift up thine eyes, 
raise thy whole heart to her ; for she also says 
to thee, Ecce Mater. I am your Mother, consider 
me as such. Behold her oppressed with grief on 
account of your sins. Sympathize with her in the 
sorrow she feels for you. She prays for you : she 
implores mercy and pardon for you. Beseech her 
by her sorrows to look upon you as her child, and 
to obtain for you all necessary help, now, and at 
the awful hour of death. O Mother of God, prove 



66 

thyself my Mother also. Ah ! turn those merciful 
eyes of thine upon me, beloved Mother. Remember 
the inexpressible anguish which we cost thee at 
the foot of the Cross. Let not the excessive grief 
thou didst then suffer be all in vain. May thy 
sorrows and thy holy patronage prove a powerful 
assistance to me in my last agony. To-day, 
O amiable Mother ! on this day I would fain 
show myself thy child, even were I to lay down 
my life in love and sorrow at the foot of the 
Cross here. Welcome, O happy death ! Would 
that I might die at the feet of Mary my 
Mother, and at the feet of Jesus so full of love 
for me. 

Here all kneel and meditate, &c. 

Jesus in His last moments gives us to-day to His 
Virgin Mother. O Mary, who can understand what 
thou then must have suffered ? accept me for thy child 
and be to me a Mother, as I now promise thee loyal 
obedience. 1 



Jesus en su testamento 
A la Virgen hoy nos da : 
Oh Maria ! Quien podra 
Explicar tu sentimiento ? 

Hijo vuestro quiero ser : 
Sed vos mi Madre, Senora, 
Que os prometo desde ahora 
Finamente obedecer. 



-6 7 - 

In thanksgiving to Jesus for having given us Mary for our 
Mother, let us recite five times the following prayer : 

Most sweet Jesus, we return Thee infinite thanks 
for having given Thy blessed Mother, Mary, 
to be our Mother also. 

Afterwards address yourself to her : 

sorrowful Mary, our Mother, pray for thy 
sinful children now, and at the hour of our death. 

Then, 

1 believe in God, &c., as on page 57. 



68 



THE FOURTH WORD, 

Uttered by our Lord on the Cross. 

MY GOD! MY GOI)! WHY HAST THOU 
FORSAKEN ME ? 

After our Saviour had fulfilled in every point all 
that belonged to the office of Redeemer of the 
world, after He had besought pardon for sinners, 
and chosen Mary His own Mother for the Mother 
of us all, He began to feel in the interior of His 
holy Soul, the greatest pains and desolations, even 
the agony and pangs of death. Weakened as He 
was, and exhausted by loss of blood, the ingratitude 
of mankind took strong possession of His mind. 
He saw, on the one hand, the crimes of the 
wicked, together with the pusillanimity of the 
good ; and, on the other, the infinite love of His 
Father to man, His favourite creature; the stub 
born obstinacy of infidels ; the forgetfulness of His 
mercies ; the contempt of His holy Passion, the 
number of souls who would be lost eternally, and 
the little profit mankind would derive from all 
His sufferings. He saw, moreover, the sorrows of 
His Holy Mother, the timidity of His disconsolate 



-6 9 - 

disciples, and the cruel persecutions which His im 
maculate Spouse, the Holy Catholic Church, would 
hereafter undergo. To all these afflicting thoughts 
were added His bodily pains and torments. His 
sacred Head pierced with thorns, the sharp points 
entering His temples ; His merciful eyes half- 
closed by blood and dust ; His shoulders lacerated 
by stripes, His chest oppressed, and His feet and 
hands transpierced by heavy nails. In truth, O my 
Saviour, Thy sorrows are as infinite as Thy 
patience ! In this state He prays to His Heavenly 
Father for the salvation of the whole world ; but 
foreseeing that His Passion and Death would avail 
nothing to an infinite number of men, who, through 
their own fault, would lose their souls for ever, He 
entered upon His agony, and the depth of His 
sorrow increased every moment as He realized 
more and more that His Heavenly Father allowed 
Him to suffer without any consolation. Finding 
Himself thus abandoned, even by His Father, 
and sinking under the load of sins which crushed 
Him with their weight, He at length fell into so 
great, so sensible, so bitter a dereliction, and so 
cruel an anguish of soul, that He could not refrain 
from expostulating with His Eternal Father in 
these terms of reproach : My God ! My God I why 
hast Thou forsaken Me? O most lovable Saviour, 
the cause of Thy desolation was none other than 



my sins. Contemplate then, O my erring soul, 
the terrible dereliction which the Son of God 
suffered on account of thy wilfulness. Tremble 
lest God should abandon thee also, and being 
abandoned by Him, whither canst thou fly for 
refuge ? Why, O my soul, art thou so perverse ? 
Ut quid dereliquisti me ? Why hast Thou forsaken 
me ? Ah ! why ? Answer thy Saviour, who 
asks thee as He hangs in agony on His Cross : 
Why wilt thou lose thy soul ? why wilt thou render 
the Blood I have shed for thy redemption of no 
avail ? Ah ! why ? For things that are in them 
selves so vile ? for a moment of degrading pleasure, 
a fleeting interest which fades into thin air, and 
vanishes in disappointment? Ut quid? answer 
Him then. O my soul ! melt into tears and 
sorrow. O my Jesus! Ut quid? Why do I 
persist in wrecking my soul, when I behold Thee 
nailed to the Cross in order to save it? shall 1 damn 
myself whilst Thou art shedding Thy Precious 
Blood for me? shall I so shamefully abuse Thy 
mercy? No, my Saviour, it shall never be. My 
tears bespeak my sorrow and repentance : abandon 
me not, O my Jesus, I beseech Thee by Thy 
holy dereliction. 

Here all kneel and meditate, &c. 



The beloved Son of God sees Himself abandoned by 
His Eternal Father. A h ! cursed be my sins that 
were the cause of this. Whoever wishes to console 
Jesus in His terrible sorrow, let him sincerely say : 
My God, forgive me, I wish to sin no more. 1 

That our Lord may never abandon us, recite five times 
what follows : 

Most sweet Jesus ! by Thy most holy derelic 
tion, abandon us not, neither during our lives, nor 
at our death. 

Then to our Lady : 

Mary, Mother of grace, Mother of mercy, 
protect us now and at the hour of our death. 

Then, 
I believe in God, &c., as on page 57. 

1 Desamparado se ve 
De su Padre el Hijo amado ; 
Ah ! maldito mi pecado, 
Que de esto la causa fue. 
Quien quisiera consolar 
A Jesus en su dolor, 
Diga de veras : Sefior, 
Me pesa, no mas pecar. 



THE FIFTH WORD, 

Uttered by our Lord on the Cross. 
I THIRST. 

Can any one fail to understand the causes 
which aggravated the thirst of our most sweet 
Saviour in that hour of anguish ? His tongue, the 
instrument of so many marvels, cleaved to the 
roof of His mouth ; His loving lips were parched 
by the bitterness of His tortures ; the moisture of 
His body had been drained from Him through 
all His wounds and through His sweat of blood. 
Indescribable, therefore, was the thirst which 
tormented Him with ever-increasing agony ; until 
at last, in hoarse but plaintive tones, He uttered 
the word, / thirst. O most sweet Lord, what 
kind of thirst is it that torments Thee ? what else 
but an insatiable thirst for our salvation ; a 
thirst far greater than the bodily thirst which 
Thou endurest, an ardent and inflamed thirst for 
the salvation of souls ; a thirst which can only 
be quenched by the tears of converted sinners. 
As if He had said : In the midst of the torment and 
agony in which you now behold Me, there remains 



73 

no other consolation for me but the sighs and tears of 
penitent souls. Weep then, O lovers of Jesus ! 
lament and bewail your sins. He thirsts ! He 
hangs in His death agony ! oh, ye fountains, 
streams, and rivers, give tears to my eyes to enable me 
to assuage the thirst of my agonizing Saviour. Ah ! 
who is he, who will not henceforth shudder at the 
very thought of committing one mortal sin which 
occasions so much pain to our suffering Lord? 
He thirsts for the salvation of souls, for the 
extermination of sin. I thirst, O my Saviour, who 
will give Thee refreshment ? who will bring back a 
wandering sheep to Thee ? I will, O Lord. Since 
the thirst that torments Thee is a thirst for souls, 
I will seek for sinners ; I will endeavour to lead 
them home. I will teach Thy ways to the 
weak and ignorant ; I will exhort sinners both by 
word and example; that many may be con 
verted to Thee. / thirst. O my Saviour, from 
whence proceeds this thirst? From a still more 
vehement degree of love. Remember, O Lord, 
that Thou wilt have legions of Virgins, Martyrs, 
and Confessors, who will die for most fervent 
love of Thee. Mary, Thy Mother, dies for 
love of Thee ; Thy dear Magdalen, Thy spouses 
Catharine, Teresa, Ludgarde, and innumerable 
others, die also for love of Thee. Sitio I thirst. 
Love never says, // is enough. O Christians ! 



74 

we must die with Jesus, who bears so ardent 
a thirst for our salvation : we must die to the 
world, which bears so little love towards Him. 
Sitio I thirst, that the whole world should be 
converted \ O my God, Thy Apostles will convert 
whole kingdoms and millions of souls to Thee. 
I thirst I desire still more. The great St. Dominic, 
St. Francis, and many other zealous Saints, 
O Lord, will win souls to Thee by their miracles 
and preaching, even from the remotest parts of the 
earth. Sitio I thirst. The renowned St. Ignatius 
and his Society, will bring back to Thee numbers 
of heretics, infidels, and sinners ; and his sons 
will carry the fire of Thy love into distant 
nations ; and the illustrious Xavier will convert 
a new world to Thee. Sitio I thirst for still 
more. O obdurate sinners ! reflect on the vehe 
ment thirst which your adorable Redeemer feels 
for your salvation, and the little anxiety it causes 
you. Is it possible that you can still thirst after 
the riches, vanities, and pleasures of the world, 
which cause you to run on so rapidly to your 
destruction ? Oh, sin no more, since you behold 
Jesus so ardently desirous of your salvation. Let 
your tears now wash away the stains of your sin; 
to what other purpose would you reserve them? 
Bewail them then with your tears, and you will 
thus quench His thirst. O my Saviour, who can 



75 

quench it, since love never says, It is enough. 
Be Thou Thyself, then, the assuager of Thy thirst 
in communicating to us an ardent desire rather to 
suffer death than offend Thee. Let us die then, 
O Christian souls, of love, and endeavour to lessen 
the thirst of Jesus with the tears of repentance, 
sorrow, and contrition. 

Here all kneel and meditate, &c. 

Jesus Christ says He is thirsty, and if thou 
wishest, O Christian soul, to assuage the thirst which 
is consuming Him, give Him some of thy tears to 
comfort Him. The gall which the Centurion offers 
Him He will not drink of; how then canst thon 
expect our Saviour to drink the bitterness of thy sins ? r 

Here, to alleviate the thirst of Jesus, give Him your heart, 
saying five times : 

My most sweet Jesus feels the pain of thirst : 
I give Him my heart. 

Then, 
I believe in God, &c., as on page 57. 

1 Sed dice Cristo que tiene ; 
Mas si quieres mitigar 
La sed que le llega a ahogar, 
Darle lagrimas conviene. 

La hiei que brinda un ministro 
Si la gusta, no la bebe : 
Como quieres tu que pruebe 
La hiel de tu culpa Cristo ? 



- 7 6- 



THE SIXTH WORD, 

Uttered by our Lord on the Cross. 
IT IS CONSUMMATED. 

The prophecies of the Old Testament, and the 
sovereign decrees of God, are now accomplished : 
the immense debt of sinners is cancelled ; the just 
have obtained salvation at a price proportionate to 
its value; a covenant is concluded between God 
and man ; the tyranny of the devil is overthrown ; 
the triumph of glory begins. And now our ador 
able Saviour, after having terminated His mission as 
Redeemer of the world, has reached the extremity 
of His agony ; He is now at the gates of death, 
and offers His sweet life for sinners. Enter, O my 
soul! enter into His blessed Heart, and from 
thence behold all the prayers which will be made 
to His Eternal Father, even to the end of the 
world. He accepts them, makes them His own ; 
it is through His Passion and Death that 
all these prayers have received that favourable 
answer which is already given ; all the sover 
eign decrees which regard this world as long as it 
shall endure, are here determined ; it is owing 



77 

to His Death that all the vacant thrones in Heaven 
will one day be re-filled. 

Consider that this Sovereign Lord, by His 
omniscience, now beholds all your temptations 
and combats : He foresees your secret falls, 
your hidden thoughts, all the events of your 
life, and the many dangers to which you will be 
exposed of losing your soul. Consider how He 
applies the merits of His Death and Passion 
to your soul, as if you alone were the only 
object of His love. Return Him thanks for what He 
has suffered in particular for you. And now Jesus, 
resolving on the accomplishment of His sublime 
designs, paused, as it were, to consider whether 
anything more remained to be done or suffered 
for sinners. Quid ultra debui facere et non fed? 
what more could I do for sinners than I have 
done ? what yet remains for Me to do ? Nothing, 
O Redeemer of my soul, nothing remains. Thou 
hast exhausted all Thy charity, and Thou hast done 
all that Thou couldst do or suffer for our sakes. 

So then our Blessed Saviour, considering that 
nothing further remained for Him to do, either in 
obedience to the will of His Father, or in reparation 
for the sins of the world, raising His voice cried 
out, Consummatum esf, It is consummated. His 
Eternal Father grants Him now the salvation of 
those great sinners, whose penitential lives and 



- 78- 

heroic deeds are recorded in ecclesiastical history 
and in the Lives of the Saints. It is at this 
moment that He bequeaths power to His 
apostles, fortitude to martyrs, purity to virgins, 
and courage to confessors and penitents. It is now 
that He beholds the field of His Church enriched 
by a plenteous harvest of the just : His temples 
erected, His religion established, idols over 
turned, and the glorious standard of His Cross 
triumphantly displayed throughout the world. This 
is the hour when He looks out upon the vast 
multitudes of souls, even among the most barbarous 
nations, who will be enlightened by His Cross and 
obtain salvation. Nothing more could be done 
which has been left undone. All is consummated* 
Oh, mayest Thou be for ever praised, blessed 
Redeemer of my soul, for Thy immense love and 
charity towards sinful man. Oh ! let me make 
Thee some return for all that Thou hast accom 
plished. Grant, O Lord, through the effusion of 
Thy most Precious Blood, that I too may one day 
say with the most sincere compunction, // is 
consummated. I have ceased to offend Thee ; my 
scandals and my iniquities are at an end, Con- 
summatum est: for love of Thee my criminal 
course of life is for ever terminated. 

Consider, O Christians, what passes at this 
moment in the Heart of Jesus Christ : Oh, 



79 

what fire ! what love ! what tenderness ! Behold, 
now is the time you may obtain all the graces 
of Divine love, now, when Jesus tells you, it 
is consummated, all is accomplished, nothing 
more remains for me to do. Whither do my 
affections carry me ? already has the fire seized 
my heart : the love of Jesus burns within me : 
O inexpressible joy ! Ah ! ye stony hearts ! come, 
approach to the Heart of Jesus. O ye tepid 
hearts ! O obdurate sinners ! all is consummated: 
the fire of Divine charity has attained its greatest 
intensity in the Heart of Jesus ; cast yourselves 
into it; oh, may it inflame you still more and 
more with His love. Amen. O my Saviour ! may 
my heart be broken with sorrow, and inflamed 
with Thy love. 

Here all kneel and meditate, &c. 

With a broken, exhausted voice, our Saviour tells 
us that His Passion has paid the price of sin. Jesus 
is about to breathe His last and expire ; where is the 
Christian soul who would not die of sorrow ? l 

1 Con voz quebrada tu Dios 
Habla ya muy desmayado, 
Y dice, que del pecado 
La redencion consume. 

Ya Jesus se ve espirar ; 
Ya Jesus se ve morir, 
Quien, pues, no llega a rendir 
La vida con el pesar ? 



go 

In thanksgiving for the work of our Redemption, recite 
five times the following Act : 

I thank Thee, O Lord, from the bottom of my 
heart, for having accomplished the great work of 
our redemption. Grant, O my Saviour, that it 
may avail to my salvation. 

Then, 
I believe in God, &c., as on page 57. 



8i 



THE SEVENTH WORD, 

Uttered by our Saviour on the Cross. 

FATHER, INTO THY HANDS I COMMEND 
MY SPIRIT. 

In this last word, our most loving Redeemer 
gave us the ultimate proof of His love, by 
teaching us what is of supreme importance at 
the moment of death ; that is, that we should 
commit ourselves with unreserved and humble 
confidence into the hands of God, as into those 
of a most tender and affectionate Father. It is 
Jesus Christ who teaches us how to die. Let us 
learn then, Christians, from the death of our 
Saviour, what death is. Oh, what an awful passage 
it must be \ look only at the effect it produces on 
a Man-God : His Sacred Humanity is changed 
beyond recognition His face grows pale, His lips 
livid, His whole body trembles with anguish and 
exhaustion. Even that loud cry with which He 
surrendered His Soul to His Eternal Father was 
wrung from Him with many tears. Cum clamore 
valido et lacrymis. If a Man-God dies in this 
manner, O man, how can you think on death 

G 



82 

with such indifference ? You are mortal : you 
know you must die, and yet you lead a careless 
and dissipated life : you appear not to be the least 
concerned about it, nor to bestow even a serious 
thought on so terrible a moment. Christians ! 
would you know what death is, consider it in 
Jesus. Look upon His agony, His struggles, His 
exhaustion. Is it possible that any one could defer 
his preparation for so dreadful a conflict to a time 
of so much bitterness and sorrow ; or postpone 
so serious and arduous an undertaking^ as the 
affair of eternal salvation, to the hour of death, 
an hour so full of pain and anguish ? Ah ! who 
can form a just conception of what passed in 
the mind of our dear Saviour at the prospect of 
His approaching dissolution ? The conflict that 
passed in His Soul at the thought of its separation 
from His immaculate Body, formed out of the 
pure flesh of Mary His Virgin Mother, must 
necessarily have been so violent, as to shake the 
whole frame of His Sacred Humanity. O powerful 
stroke of death, that could even make a Man-God 
tremble ! May Thy sacred name be for ever exalted 
and praised, O merciful Jesus ! for having volun 
tarily permitted Thyself to suffer so bitter an 
agony, in order to teach me to support mine with 
patience and resignation to the Divine will of Thy 
Heavenly Father : and for having suffered all the 



- 8 3 - 

terrors of death, in order to render my death more 
peaceful and easy. 

Our suffering Redeemer, seeing Himself on the 
point of expiring, exclaimed : Father^ into Thy 
hands I commend My spirit ; whereby He gave 
us to understand that it was by His own free 
choice He accepted death, and to teach us the 
most sublime and safe method to die. Father^ 
into Thy hands / commend My spirit. Oh, what 
a heavenly ! what a Divine lesson ! Christ 
Jesus, by recommending His spirit into the hands 
of His Eternal Father, pays Him, not only the 
greatest act of honour and glory, but also testi 
fies the immensity of His love, the height of His 
confidence, the depth of His humility, and abso 
lute submission, without the least reserve, to the 
will of an Almighty Father, ever faithful, just and 
holy, who never forsakes those who place their con 
fidence in Him, who is the infallible refuge of 
mercy and salvation, and who promises eternal 
beatitude to every soul that surrenders itself into 
His hands. It is by this sublime lesson from His 
Cross, that Jesus Christ teaches us how we should 
die. 

O Eternal Father, ever just and holy, in union 
with the sacred spirit of Thy most lovable Son 
Jesus, and in imitation of Him, I also deliver my 
soul into Thy merciful hands : receive it then, 



-8 4 - 

Lord, and keep it for ever. Behold the 
innumerable dangers of offending Thee, where 
with I am encompassed on all sides. Look on 
my combats and temptations, and preserve me 
from falling. Never suffer me, most merciful 
Father, to yield to the enemy, since I have, with 
Thy Son Jesus, surrendered my soul into Thy 
hands, not only at the hour of my death, but also 
during the remainder of my life. Have pity on 
me, Lord ; into Thy hands I commend my spirit, 
with all that I am and all that I possess. 

Then all kneel down and meditate as before, during which 
time these words may be sung : 

To His Eternal Father His soul is now surrendered, 
but thou, if thou amend not thy life, into whose hands 
wilt thou fall ? O my Jesus, from this moment 

1 place my soul in Thy keeping. Do not look upon 
me coldly in that fatal hour. 1 

1 A su Eterno Padre ya 
Su espiritu le encomienda 
Si tu vida no se enmienda : 
En que manos parara ? 

En las tuyas desde ahora 
Mi alma entrego, Jesus mio ; 
No me mires con desvio 
En aquella fatal hora. 



-8 5 - 



The following is then read to excite sentiments of love and 
sorrow upon what occurred at the Death of our Lord : 

Jesus our Redeemer, having commended His 
Soul into the hands of His Eternal Father, and 
seeing that the hour of His death was fast 
approaching, wished to let the whole world know 
that He died voluntarily for the love of man and 
in obedience to the will of His Heavenly Father. 
For that reason, before He breathed His last, He 
bent His Sacred Head upon His breast, not con 
strained thereto by the stroke of death, but only 
by the weight of His love. O incomprehensible 
mystery ! by this inclination of His Head Jesus 
testified His obedience to His Eternal Father, His 
goodness to man, His poverty and His humility. 
It was, in the first place, the excessive weight of 
our sins that caused His Head to bend in death. 
Again, He bowed His Head to take His last 
farewell of an ungrateful world, and breathe into it, 
as He had done at its creation, the breath of a 
new life. He inclined His Head also towards the 
earth, in order to invite sinners, by this signal of 
His love, to His tender caresses. Finally, His Head 
was bent that His last and most tender look might 
be directed towards His beloved Mother Mary, 
who remained at the foot of the Cross, pierced 
with sorrow, in order to show her how much He 



86 

reverenced her, and to give her His last sigh, 
as if it were to teach us how much it behoves 
us to direct the last sigh of our lives to God, 
under the sweet guidance of Mary. O Divine 
Master of my life, may Thy infinite charity be for 
ever praised for the heavenly lessons Thou hast 
taught us from the Cross. 

Our Divine Redeemer having bowed down His 
sacred Head, nothing further remained to be done 
than to give up His Spirit to. His Heavenly Father. 
Here the awful change commenced ; His sacred 
Body shuddered in separating itself from His most 
holy Soul. Already Death had begun to execute 
his office by robbing the most beautiful of all 
countenances of its natural complexion. Now a 
film settled upon the eyes ; now the nostrils grew 
pinched ; now the lips became livid ; now the 
cheeks began to fall in ; now His bosom heaved, 
and He could no longer draw His breath. The 
inanimate creation, perceiving its Creator expiring, 
expressed the poignancy of its anguish by terrible 
portents. The sun was darkened ; the moon grew 
red as blood ; the heavens were clouded over, the 
earth groaned and trembled, the rocks were rent, 
the whole world shuddered in horror. Stay, 
O Jesus ! stay yet a little while, and I will die 
with Thee and for Thee. Let us die together, 
O Lord ; if Thou diest for love of me, let me 



-87 - 

also die for love of Thee. I do not wish to 
live any longer, O my God, for fear of offend 
ing Thee, and, by my sins, crucifying Thee 
again. 

Alas ! beloved Jesus, the hour brooks no delay. 
I see that heaven and earth are anxiously expecting 
Thy blessed Death : Thy Heavenly Father is waiting 
with open arms to receive Thy Spirit ; the Angels 
long to hail Thy victory with repeated Alleluias ; 
the holy Patriarchs in Limbo await Thy coming, to 
release them from prison, and conduct them to the 
mansions of never-ending happiness ; the just 
are eager to render Thee eternal thanks for the 
never-fading crown of glory Thou hast purchased 
for them ; sinners long for it, that by sincere con 
trition for their past sins, and a firm purpose of 
amending their lives, they may escape the wrath to 
come, and obtain eternal salvation ; and all 
mankind are waiting in anxious expectation, so 
that they may be delivered from the fetters of sin. 
Our Saviour, considering how ardently the world 
looks for His Death, yields at length to its desire, 
and full of affection and tenderness for sinners, 
delivers up His Soul into the hands of His Eternal 
Father : yes, He offers up His Life and His 
Blood as a universal remedy for the sins of all 
mankind. O most sweet Jesus ! it must be time to 
die, since such is Thy will. Die then, O Redeemer 



88 

of my soul, and when, after Thy departure hence, 
Thou goest to Thy Father, beseech Him that we 
may never be separated from Thee; but that 
through the merits of Thy Precious Passion 
and Death, we may live and die in Thy grace 
and in Thy love. He can refuse Thee nothing, 
dear Jesus ! Thou must be heard for Thy reverence 
in behalf of those whom Thou hast redeemed, and 
who are all so dear to Thy Heart. 

O incomprehensible Majesty ! most high God ! 
Thou alone, O Lord of glory, Thou alone canst 
fully comprehend and justly appreciate the Death 
of our Saviour Jesus. Man, insensible man, hears 
it, and yet remains blind, deaf, and dumb : he 
beholds his God expire without being moved either 
to sighs or tears. He forgets that his God has 
suffered an ignominious Death on the Cross, in 
order that he might live eternally. How terrible 
a responsibility is this ! O holy Friday ! O Three 
Hours of agony ! Awake, senseless mortals ! open 
the eyes of your faith ; see, your God is expiring 
for love of you, and yet no one is found who dies 
of love and sorrow for Him. Wo to us sinners ! 
He dies, and no one dies with grief for having 
offended Him. We stand before Thy face, O God, 
and are not ashamed. O rocks, lend us your 
sensibility, that we may this day tremble and die 
with love and sorrow for our Redeemer Jesus. 



-8 9 - 

Let us long to die with Jesus, Christian souls, 
long to die of love and sorrow for having offended 
Him. 

As the third hour draws near its close the Credo is sung, 
in such wise that the words Crticifixus et mortuus est may 
be reached as the clock strikes ; and thereupon each one 
present should make a fervent Act of Contrition. 

The following words may also be sung : 

Now is my Redeemer dead, my beloved Father is 
no more. My God, my Father, my Love, has died 
nailed to a Cross. Alas ! Ah ! Woe is me ! Burst, 
O my heart, with compassion : it was for thee that 
Jesus died. 1 

1 Ya murio mi Redentor, 
Ya murio mi Padre amado, 
Ya murio en la cruz clavado 
Mi Dios, mi Padre, mi amor. 

Ay ! Ay ! Ay ! Triste de mi ! 
Ay ! Ay ! Ay ! Mi corazon, 
Rompete de compasion, 
Que Jesus murio por ti. 



ADDENDA. 



Should any time remain before the three hours are 
completed, the following prayers are recited, otherwise they 
may be omitted. 

SALUTATIONS addressed to the Five Sacred 
Wounds of JESUS CHRIST. 

I. To the Sacred Wound in the Left Foot. 

O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore the Sacred Wound 
in Thy Left Foot, and I return Thee heartfelt 
thanks for so much pain : grant me, I beseech 
Thee, by this pain, and by the suffering it caused 
Thy afflicted Mother, the pardon of all the sins I 
have committed against Thee by my sinful steps. 

Our Father, &c. Glory be to the Father ; &c. 

II. To the Sacred Wound in the Right Foot. 

O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore the Sacred Wound 
in Thy Right Foot, and I return Thee heartfelt 
thanks for so much pain : grant me, I beseech 
Thee, by this pain, and by the suffering it caused 
Thy afflicted Mother, a firm hope, together with 
the pardon of all the sins I have committed against 
Thee by my words and actions. 

Our Father, &c. Glory be to the Father, 6% 



92 

III. To the Sacred Wound in the Left Hand. 

O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore the Sacred Wound 
in Thy Left Hand, and I return Thee heartfelt 
thanks for so much pain : grant me, I beseech 
Thee, by this pain, and by the suffering it caused 
Thy afflicted Mother, an ardent charity, together 
with the pardon of all the sins I have committed 
against Thee by my sight and my other senses. 

Our Father, &c. Glory be to the Father, &c. 

IV. To the Sacred Wound in the Right Hand. 

O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore the Sacred Wound 
in Thy Right Hand, and I return Thee heartfelt 
thanks for so much pain : grant me, I beseech 
Thee, by this pain, and by the suffering it caused 
Thy afflicted Mother, the grace of true contrition 
for my sins, and pardon for all the offences 1 4 may 
have committed against Thee by the abuse of my 
will, memory, and understanding. 

Our Father, &c. Glory be to the Father, &c. 

V. To the Sacred Wound in the Side of our Saviour. 

O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore the Sacred Wound 
in Thy Sacred Side, and I return Thee heartfelt 
thanks for so much pain : and as Thy most Sacred 
Heart was pierced by a sharp-pointed lance, and 
that of Thy afflicted Mother with the sword of 
grief, grant that mine may be so deeply penetrated 
by the arrows of Thy love, as cheerfully to suffer 
the most cruel death rather than ever offend Thee 
by the commission of one mortal sin. 

Our Father, &c. Glory be to the Father, &c. 



93 ~ 

Let us say three Hail Marys and one Glory be to the 
Father, to our Blessed Mother Mary, in reverence for all 
she suffered during these Three Hours. 

A PRAYER TO OUR LADY. 

O most dolorous Mother ! by the many bitter 
afflictions Thou must necessarily have suffered at 
the foot of the Cross during the three long hours 
of agony of thy Divine Son Jesus, but more 
especially at the moment of His sacred death, 
engrave, I beseech thee, His wounds and thy 
unspeakable grief upon my heart : assist me in 
my last agony ; and, through thy powerful inter 
cession at the throne of mercy, obtain for me a 
happy death. 




" CONSUMMATUM EST." 



(Fra Angelico.) 



SHORT PRAYERS 
OF 

ST. GREGORY, 

ON OUR LORD S PASSION. 



1. O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore Thee hanging 
on the Cross, and wearing a crown of thorns. 
I humbly pray Thee, that Thy blood may deliver 
me from the destroying angel. Amen. 

Then say, Our Father, &c., Hail Mary, &<r. 

2. O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore Thee wounded 
on the Cross, and having gall and vinegar given 
Thee to drink. I beseech Thee, that Thy wounds 
may become the cure of my soul. Amen. 

Our father, &><:. 

3. O Lord Jesus Christ, I beseech Thee, through 
the bitterness of the pains which Thou didst suffer 
in the hour of death, and chiefly when Thy most 
holy Soul parted from Thy blessed Body; have 
mercy on my soul, at its quitting my body, and 
bring it to eternal life. Amen. 

Our Father, &c. 



-96 

4- O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore Thee laid in 
the Sepulchre, and embalmed with myrrh and 
spices; grant, I beseech Thee, that Thy Death 
may be my life. Amen. 

Our Father, &c. 

5. O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore Thee descend 
ing into Hell, and delivering from thence Thy 
captives : never permit, I beseech Thee, my soul 
to go thither. Amen. 

Our Father, &c. 

6. O Lord Jesus Christ, I adore Thee rising 
from the dead, and ascending into Heaven, and 
sitting at the right hand of Thy Father ; grant, I 
beseech Thee, that I may follow Thee thither, and 
deserve to be presented to Him by Thee. Amen. 

Our Father, 6^. 

7. O Lord Jesus Christ, who art the Good 
Shepherd ; preserve the just, justify sinners, have 
mercy on all the faithful, and be propitious to me 
a miserable and unworthy sinner. Amen. 

Our Father, 6<r. Hail Mary, &c. 



prater to tbe jftve TKHounfcs* 



TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN. 

Kiss the wound of the left hand of the Crucifix, 
saying : 

Jesu mine ! for love of Thee, 

1 love what Thy Will giveth me, 

WHATE ER it be. 

Kiss the wound of the right hand, saying : . 

Jesu mine ! for love of Thee, 

1 love what Thy Will giveth me, 

WHENE ER it be. 

Kiss the wound of the left foot, and say : 

Jesu mine ! for love of Thee, 

1 love what Thy Will giveth me, 

How MUCH it be. 

Kiss the wound of the right foot, and say : 

Jesu mine ! for love of Thee, 

1 love what Thy Will giveth me, 

How LONG it be. 

H 



-98 - 

Kiss the wound of the Sacred Heart, saying : 

Jesus, my will is ever one with Thine, 
For all things that befall me come from 

Thee; 
All bring Thee glory, all bring good to 

me, 

Therefore in weal or woe, Thy will is 
mine. 

Then press the Crucifix with tender love to 
your heart, saying: 

O Jesus ! sweetest Lord, I pray to Thee, 
To grant me that which in Thy Heart 

I see ; 

Suffering, that my love may steadfast be, 
And love, to suffer ever faithfully ; 
Suffering, to bear all suffering for Thee, 
Love, to despise all love for love of Thee. 



APPENDIX. 

BIBLIOGRAPHY, PRINCIPALLY FROM CANCELLIERI. 

Ven. Bedse [?], De VII. Verbis Christi Oratio. 
(Migne, P.L. vol. xciv. pp. 561, 562.) 

Candidus, Monachus Fuldensis, De Passione 
Domini. (Migne, P.L. vol. cvi. p. 92.) 

S. Anselmus, Dialogits B. Marice et Anselmi de 
Passione Domini. (Migne, P.L. vol. clix. p. 284.) 

Henr. Ernulphi, Episc. Roffensis [?], Liber de 
Verbis Domini in Cruce. 

Arnoldus Carnotensis, Abbas Bonae Vallis, De 
VII. Verbis Domini in Cruce ^ Antwerp, 1532, et 
Paris, 1609. (Migne, P.L. vol. clxxxix. pp. 1677 
1726.) 

S. Bernardi [?], Vitis Mystica (Migne, P.L. 
vol. clxxxiv. p. 655.) 

Franc. Titelmanni, Scholia in Arnoldum, De VII. 
ultimis Verbis Christi. Antwerp, 1532. 

Ant. de Guevarra, De Mysteriis Dominica 
Passionis, ac de Verbis Christi in Cruce pendentis? 
Salmant. 1542 et 1582. 

Franc. Tubernici de Zichen, Liber in VII. Verba 
Christi. Antwerp, 1556. 

Vine. Ciconia, De Novissimis VII. Christi Verbis, 
Ven. ap. Andr. Arrivabene, 1563. 

J This treatise by Arnold of Chartres was falsely attributed 
to St. Cyprian, and printed among his works. 

- This book is better known as the Monte Calvario. An 
English translation of it appeared in 1595, and again in 1618, 
reprinted in part by Mr. Orby Shipley in 1868. 



IOO 

Gio. Batt. Domenichi, Sermoni sopra le parole, 
che disse G. C. su le Croce, Ferrara per Bened. 
Mammotello, 1592. 

Franc. Panigarola, Discorsi sopra le VII. parole 
da Cristo dette in Croce. Milano, 1601. 

H. Castela, Les Sept Flammes de r Amour sur les 
Sept Paroles de Jesus Christ attache a la Croix. 
Paris, 1605. 

Christ. Pelargi, Meditationes Passionales de VII. 
Verbis Christi in Cruce. Frf. 1607. 

Eliac. Cochleri, Heptalogus Christi. 1608. 

Godfr. Kempens, Microcosmus reparatus, sive de 
humani generis per Passionem J. C. reparatione, et 
VII. in Cruce Verbis. Paris, et Colon. 1611. 

Sam. Lange, VII. Verba Christi in Cruce. Lips. 
1612 et 1651. 

S. Bonaventurae, Tractatus de VII. Verbis Domini. 
Antwerp, 1615. 

Martini Boemi, Tractatus de VII. Verbis Domini. 
Antwerp, 1615. 

Joann. Affelmanni, Disputatio de VII. Christi 
Verbis in Cruce. Rost. 1615. 

Job. Frid. Stapels, Heptalogus Christi, sen VII. 
folia semper-virentia. Vitemb. 1616. 

Rob. Bellarmini, De VII. Verbis a Christo 
in Cruce prolatis, lib. ii. Col. Agripp. 1618, 1626, 
1634. 

Christ. Danderstadii, Meditatio VII. Novissimorum 
verborum Christi in Cruce. Lipsiae, 1625. 

Petrus Diverus, De VII. extremis Verbis Christi 
morientts, oraculis e Cruce editis. Antwerp, Plantin, 
1634. 



101 



Job. Hoepnerus, De Descrtione J. C. in Cruet. 
Lips. 1641. 

Job. Bottsacus, De Heptalogo Christi. Ged. 1642. 

Sebast. Gotf. Stardens, Myrrheorosea Jesu in 
Cruce pendentis labia. Franc. 1649. 

Dcrnieres paroles de Jesus Christ en Croix, Poeme 
Heroique. Paris de Serus, 1655. 

Adam Spengleri, Heptalogus Christi. Vit. 1653. 

Jo. Hermanni, Heptalogus in VII. Christi Verba. 
Jenae, 1660. 

Job. Frischmuth, De fiebili Messia in Cruce 
pendentis gemitu Eli Eli, Jense, 1663, et in t. ii. 
Thes. Philol. p. 240. 

Steph. Klotzius, De Crudatibus Anima J. C. ac 
de derelictione in Cruce. Hamb. et Frf. 1670. 

Valent. Henr. Wolgleri, Phisiologia Passionis 
Christi, ubi de Tristitia, Sudore, Spinea Corona, 
Myrrhino Vino, Solis Obscuratione, Siti Christi, Aceto, 
et Hysopo, Clamore, Morte, Terramotu, Sanguine, 
d Aqua, Conditura Corporis. Helmst. 1670, 1673. 

Sebast. Niermanus, De Christi derelicti querela 
in Cruce. Jense, 1671. 

Jo. Henr. Hummelii, Condones explicantes vocem 
Christi in Cruce pendentis. Tiguri, 1673. 

G. B. Grassettini, // Maestro Divino su la Cattedra 
della Croce, doe Sermoni nove sopra le sett e parole di 
Cristo in Croce. Roma, per Fil. M. Mancini, 1674. 

Job. Frid. Scarfius, De Christi Crudfixi derelic 
tione. Vit. 1677. 

John Flavel, Sermons on the Seven Last Words. 

De Tristi ac Memorabili Christi lamento, Deus, 
Deus Meus, quare me dereliquisti. Witt. 1677. 



102 

Franc. Elgersma, Cygnea Cantio VII. Verborum 
Christi. 1679. 

Christ. Locherwitz, De Luctuoso Christi in Cruce 
pendentis lamento. Vit. 1680. 

Job. Olearius, De Jesu Crucifixi derelictione ex 
Psal. 22. Lips. 1683, 1685. 

Joh. Teuschmannus, De Christi Crucifixi derelic 
tione. Vit. 1695. 

J. C. Dannahaver, De VII. Verbis Novissimis 
Christi. Arg. 1697. 

Lud. Winslovius, De Desertione Salvatoris. 
Hafniae 1706. 

J. F. Mayer, Ad I ll. Verba Morientis Jesu. 
Gryph. 1706, 1709. 

M. Screiberi, V indictee Verborum Christi, EH Eli. 
Region, 1716. 

M.T. Cruyer, Heptalogon in Ara Cruets a Chris to 
Servatore prolatum. Frf. et Lips. 1726. De Verbis 
ultimis Christi morientis. Helmst. 1728. 

Jon. Rota, Diss. Philologica de exdamatione 
Salvatoris in Cruce. Lond. 1738. 

F. C. Lugeri, DC Quarto Salvatoris Crucifixi 
Verbo. Jenae, 1739. 

Chr. Matth. Pfaffius, De Precibus Christi pro 
Crucifixoribus suis fusis. Tub. 1746. 

C. E. Weismannus, In Verbum Christi in Cruce 
Pendentis Quartum. Tub. 1746. 

Gabr. Hummse, Veneti, De VII. Verbis Domini 
Tractatus. 

Angeli Sangrini, De VII. J. C. Verbis Meditationes 
Sept em. 

Eliseo Masini, Delle sette parole di Cristo in Croce. 



103 

Franc. Barberino Masserano, Discorsi sopra le 
parole, che disse in Ebraico idioma Cristo S. N. 
sopra la Croce. 

Benedictus XIV. De Festis, c. vii. p. 223. 

Divizione delle tre ore deir Agonia di G. C. S. N. 
Composta in Lima nel Peru, in Lingua Spagnuola 
dal P. Alfonzo Messia della Comp. di Gesii e 
maniera usata dallo stesso Autore. Roma, 1789, 
per Gioach. Puccinelli. 

Esercizio di divizione in onore delle tre ore deir 
Agonia di G. C. N. S. Composto in Lingua 
Spagnuola dal M. R. Padre, e Servo di Dio il 
P. Alonzo Messia della Comp. di Gesu, e nuova- 
mente traslato nella Lingua nostra italiana dal 
Cav. Giangiacomo della Pegna. Roma, 1795, P er 
Ant. Fulgoni. 

A. Fulgoni, Divoto Esercizio da Principiarsi nel 
Venerdi S. dalle ore 18 alle 21, in memoria delle tre 
ore deir Agonia di G. C. Roma, 1795. 

Of more modern books, or of books less exclu 
sively devoted to the Seven Words, there may 
be mentioned speciminis gratia : 

Cristobal de Fonseca, Vida de Cristo. 

Luis de la Palma, S.J., History of the Sacred 
Passion. 

Ignacio de Quintanaduenas, Cristo Crucificado. 

P. Gallwey, S.J., The Watches of tJu Passion. 

H. J. Coleridge, S.J., The Public Life of our Lord. 

And among Anglicans : 

H. Scott Holland, Good Friday. 

W. J. Knox Little, The Three Hours Agony. 

A. G. Mortimer, The Seven Last Words. 



ROEHAMPTON : 
PRINTED BY JOHN GRIFFIN. 



BT 430 .M47 1899 SMC 

MEsia, Alonso. 

The devotion of the three 

hours agony on Good Friday 

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